I really like getting to go out and meet other scientists, to understand what it is that they are working on. I’m lucky enough to do that quite a lot, because one of my roles is to help scientists (anyone who wants to!) to use High Performance Computing. Usually they are not experts in computing, certainly not in Supercomputers or parallel programming, and I’m not an expert in their field. So I learn lots and usually end up helping them out, which is a really satisfying result.
The freedom of being able to carry out your own research in something you’re interested in and being surrounded by people who are equally motivated in their own field of work. Of course the travelling to conference abroad is also fun!