SQL relay in Cardiff is part of the wider SQL Relay UK family and is essentially a free, touring conference, targeted at DBA’s (especially MS SQL Server) and BI users. Fortunately for me, they also had an “alternative tech” track which suited my interests more closely. James Smith from DevOpsGuys, used Lego to demonstrate a devops approach to databases. Matt Dowle did a talk on R and data.table, which didn’t overrun. Richard Munn, Lead DBA at Nationwide was there, hating on JSON whilst providing an overview of couchdb, Cassandra and neo4j. Steph Locke of Optimum Credit gave a talk on a bottom up approach to user training in the workplace. Finally, Gavin Payne of Coeo, delivered a talk on managing multi-vendor IT environments. The addition of a good crop of sponsors made it doubly interesting and the potential to win prizes at the end didn’t hurt either, though sadly, I didn’t win anything myself.