Grade Received: A
This is my 6th course with Alex Dekhtyar. With this surplus of experience, I hope that my comments can outweigh some of the negative feedback that I was mildly surprised to see here. Some important information about any class you take in his class:1) Alex knows his shit! Anyone who says otherwise should be ignored. Whether its for class or anything remotely related to databases or data science, Alex is a fantastic resource during office hours.2) Alex considers lab assignments to be small-scale projects. Yes, these involve more work than most 'lab assignments' at Cal Poly but Alex is very very flexible with due dates (WHEN YOU COMMUNICATE WITH HIM). These projects are very practical and excellent material to discuss with interviewers BECAUSE they are more involved. 3) Individual and group projects are extremely educational! Almost always, the project allows you to apply whatever you have been learning in lecture / labs to something you find interesting. The projects force students to think about how to tackle problems that contain the full software development lifecycle (from the inception of the idea to design to the implementation to presenting these results) I cannot emphasize how valuable these experiences have been in preparing me for industry.4) If you need an extremely engaging and meticulously organized lecturer... Do NOT take his class. Despite this shortcoming, he is great at answering questions in class or in office hours. (In my experience, the people who complain the most, do very little to help themselves and expect to be spoon-fed the answers to everything)5) I have never had to purchase a textbook for a course with Alex! If you excel at learning from the notes or assignments, you will do just fine in his classes. (Read the notes ahead of time / during lecture. Pay attention to the examples he does so you can gauge what will be on the midterms...)
Grade Received: B
Absolute worst professor ever!! Avoid taking him. He will make your life a living hell. Study 25-35 is something he takes to heart. And that is simply for his class. He loves to start his courses in the beginning with useless projects building what packages you will use later. We built our own stupid database, while learning nothing useful, only to uses SQL later. His specs are wayyy to long (i.e. 12 to 16 pages) and very confusing. He's not able to feel for the class difficulty and never gives you a break. Also, in my two quarters I had with him, I ended up taking the midterm TWICE! Not two separate midterms, no, the same fucking one. Why? Because he lost them during grading. Total BS. Instead of taking the blame, we all just take the midterm again. I don't understand him and why he is even still a professor.