Well, not all is bad about courses and conferences. We get to meet old friends, we escape work for a few days, we get to eat, although the food was as bland as the speakers. We are presented with a certificate and most important of all, we get our "points". Someone at the top suddenly had this bright idea about continuous learning and points. I don't know what will happen if we don't achieve the quota. Maybe they will hang us by the thumbs.