The latest Bash Meetup took place on Monday night in Brewbot on the Ormeau Road, Belfast.

The title of the evening was Yes SQL and we had two speakers lined up to give two different perspectives on SQL; from the big data camp we had Matthew Revell the Lead Developer Advocate at Couchbase and repping good old fashioned relational data was Lukas Eder the developer behind JOOQ.

The audience assembles
Meetup in action

When planning these events we try to find a venue with a sprinkling of magic and Brewbot did not disappoint; with it’s pared back interior incorporating wonderful wooden floors and tables offset with low slung lights the space is just right for meeting with friends; It is the kind of place which you could as easily find in downtown San Fran or the bottom of the téléférique in Chamonix.

The night's beer list
We Even Had Our Own Beer

No developer meetup in a craft beer bar would be complete without the beverages and the good folks at Brewbot had crafted our very own Instil IPA for the occasion. Reports reaching the office in the days before the event indicated that the brew was sitting at a mild 3.6%, but come race day the fermentation had taken it up to a heady 4.7% and made it ‘damn tasty’.

Matthew Revell, Developer Advocate at Couchbase
Matthew Revell from Couchbase

First up to speak was Matthew. He started out by giving us a potted history of SQL and NoSQL. This led us to Couchbase and their implementation of SQL++ called N1QL (“nickel”) which is is a declarative query language that extends SQL for JSON. He finished by demoing Nickel which looks like a great tool when you have to extract data from a JSON document store.

At this point in the proceedings we had a quick pause from all things tech related whilst food was served. The kitchen had prepared platters of artisan cheese, meats, breads and assorted sundries. This was all washed down with some more Instil IPA and plenty of craic.

Lukas Eder, Developer of JooQ
Lukas Eder from JooQ

The evening was closed out by Lukas. He spoke a lot about different use cases and how different database types fitted those use cases. I think it is safe to say that Lukas is fan of relational databases and his talk certainly highlighted some of their benefits in an informative, irreverent, way. He concluded with a demonstration on how to use JOOQ in your java code to build performant queries which match up to your native sql, but with the advantages presented by being able to write them in code, such as intellisense.

All, in all, another great night of tech talks, beers and nibbles with the Belfast development community. Thanks to Liberty IT and Instil for sponsoring the event, to the staff at Brewbot for being great hosts and Filly Campbell for the photos.