Class: I hear one complain (from other student) about expectation of going to this class that is to learn MySQL ONLY. I can tell you right now that you did not just learn MySQL. You learn to write MySQL query better, setup database schema with various of I/O calculation and theory. Professor: He uses slides, and they are OUTDATED slide. Some of mysql on the slide does not work anymore on the newer version of MySQL. The essential query statement still is the same. He lecture alright, he could put you to sleep if you didn't follow him for one second; because he MUMBLES. However, it is strongly encouraged that you go to lecture, because the book DOES NOT do a good job at all. The textbook is one of bad textbook ever. You might misunderstand something in the text and you definitely will; therefore, it is better to go to class. Projects: The projects are connected dependently, meaning whatever you did wrong on previous project, you might did wrong again on the next one if you don't correct it.
Like the CS143 reviewers mentioned, he is a bit boring, but a very very nice guy. He tends to read off slides, which can put you to sleep. His homework and exams are pretty easy. The final project might take a while to complete, but it is very doable compared to other courses. He is always in his office and is willing to help. This is a good class to take if you want a good grade for a pretty minimal amount of work. If you are really interested in databases, it's not a bad class as well, but you'll probably be better suited going to office hours to have discussions with him since he just reads of lecture slides.