Dalbey, John  

Computer Science

1.30/4.00

132 evaluations


CSC 0


Junior
F
Elective
May 2006
Moderated Comment
Cry.

CPE 101


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2007
I took his independant study course. So i did not attend lab and lecture on a regular basis. But whenever i needed help on my programs, he had no problem offering. I thought he was a decent lecturer before i got out of the class. However, the rest of my friends who were still in there, told me that he turned sour. He's good if you take his independant study. I know that for sure.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Apr 2007
Dalbey was a lot better than I expected. As long as you read the book you'll do well in the class. There were 4 programming projects and homework programs due throughout the quarter. There was a lab every week with one midterm and a final. The final was a pain in the ass- 19 pages long, but he curved it quite a bit. He doesn't really teach much in lecture, but if you read then what he talks about will make a lot more sense. He's also really helpful in office hours.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
Dalby was a decent professor, theres nothing in CPE 101 thats that hard. And his big projects are not that bad, I did all of them in a day or two and got A's. But he's a dick on the homework, it takes forever and he'll give you no credit if theres some tiny thing wrong with it (even if it works fine) or if you're 1 minute late homework's only 10%, but it adds up if he fails you on 8 of them. Theres extra credit every week, I recommend doing the ones at the beginning of the year; there worth the same amount and the later ones are hard as hell. His midterm wasn't too bad but the final killed me. I really recommend avoided him unless you just love to program in C and want to do the ridiculous amount of work he assigns.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2013
He's really good at pretending to teach, but he doesn't. His answer for everything is "look in the book". It's another way of saying he doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about. Honestly, we'd be better off as a class without a teacher because we'd still have to teach ourselves but Dalbey wouldn't be there to confuse us further.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
May 2013
This professor is one of the worst at Cal Poly for sure. He has reading quizzes based on the book that no other computer science teacher uses. His midterms are based on the book with very little emphasis on actual coding. I taught myself everything that I learned in this class, because he did not teach me anything. He doesn't know the course too well either; we would ask questions in class and he would always would reply with "What does the book say" and then spend 10 minutes searching for it in the book. I struggled with this "teaching" style and when I went in to talk to him in office hours, he would just say, I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. Absolutely no help. He is a horrible professor and should not be teaching this class, because he turns people like me against computer science and is an unkind, unmerciful, jerk. If you have to wait another quarter to just take this class without Dalbey, then do it, because you will hate him and the class if you choose him. You have been warned.

CSC 101


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Do not get behind in this class. As a matter of fact, the way this class is set up you would be smart to be ahead, because at the end of the quarter all hell breaks loose and he gets flooded with assignments. Dalby's class is based on doing your work at your own pace, this results in many students all turning in thier work at the end. The biggest problem is that you cannot start the next assignment until you turn in the previous because he will then give you the assignment sheet and complete it with a passing grade.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Dalbey has no interest in teaching students, he leaves the students to teach themselves. If you like 100% self directed study at a breakneck pace, this class is for you. If you don't, then this is not the man for you.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
The class is easy to fall behind. The first few assignments are easy so don't get to cocky. Things start to get out of control up to the fourth project. I ended up spending around six hours in front of my computer. The instructor also didn't care for the students. He never answered our questions. I don't recommend this instructor to anyone.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
He has no interest in teaching C++. He rips on the language constantly, and maintains that FORTRAN and Aida are the way to go. He refuses to answer questions straight out, and sometimes just diverts off topic. His class is based fully on weekly busy work. He is intent on thorough testing of programs, and will dock for less than 30 test cases. Avoid at all costs.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Sucks, would never take him again, he is sexist, doesn't teach, and very arogant. Don't know why Cal Poly still has him, he hates it here, hates students. If my schooling depended on taking him again I would drop out.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
The worst teacher I have experienced during my three years at CalPoly. He does not care about you or anyone else in the class, sometimes you think he hates everyone in the class. He refuses to answer your questions because he thinks you should already know them. He seems like he hates his job. If the only way you can take a CSC class next quarter is with Dalbey, trust me, wait another quarter or you will regret it. His class has will ruin your entire quarter. He is horrible!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
Does not like teaching C++. would rather be teaching FORTRAN or Aida. Complains and talks about pitfalls of C++ all the time. Class is fully based on lab busy work. Get's on his "soap box" all day and talks and talks pointlessly. Should be fired. Avoid at all costs.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Dec 2006
Probably one of the worst teachers you'll ever have in your life. If you're coming into this class with no programming experience, don't take him... you won't learn anything and just fail. If you're coming in with experience, you still won't learn anything but you might at least pass. He is very unhelpful, doesn't teach, and blatantly admitted that he is a poor teacher.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2007
I took him with no prior programming experience and thought he was a pretty good teacher. Although his lectures for the most part were useless, he's a nice guy and will happily answer any questions you have on any of the assignments by actually showing you how to do it. His labs and programs were pretty straight forward. It's a hard class that requires a lot of work, but as long as you read the book and go to his office hours if you need help, everything should be fine.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2007
OKay thing about this guy is that his grading system is evened out. That means you MUST do the homework. I lost my B- because I did bad on homework but got As and Bs on the projects, lab quizes, and midterm. He is really helpful during office hours. He teaches at a nice pace but be prepared for a lot of work the last 2-3 weeks. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE 1% Homeworks and labs they're worth nearly 20% of your grade and will screw your grade.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Jun 2007
this guy sucked. unless you already know how to program, he is useless. he assigns rediculous amounts of work for every week, which take a whole lot of time and dont reflect your grade at all. the big programs you have to write (4 or 5) are the same as the ones every other teacher assigns. avoid dalbey at all costs, this guy blows. honestly, i would wait a quarter before taking his course if he was the only teacher.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Support)
May 2013
This guys an asshole. He doesn't teach at all, just reads from the book. Terrible professor and a generally sour, old man.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Jun 2013
DO NOT TAKE THIS TEACHER! unreasonable, doesn't explain shit. you will thank me if you do not take him


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
agreed. a balding, leaky dick-bag, even in 1998. CSC 101 presumes NO PRIOR PROGRAMMING EXP. In lecture & lab he whined about how Ada is "the only real...the first object-oriented language." a) Smalltalk was 1st. b) Ada is GAYYYYYY!!! c) irrelevant because back then, all projects were written in C or C++ using Top-Down Design. OOD was not taught until 102....I struggled on a project, my lab partner/dormie collaborated (he helped me mostly...) on a project I could NOT figure out (and Dalbey was ZERO HELP - always hiding off-campus) he noticed a few similarities in our identifiers and gave us BOTH F's for CHEATING. Almost got me kicked out of Poly. I had a 1.5 GPA going into 102. Thank God The genius from CalTech - Dr. Butler, showed me how to program and saved my CP career. I hope Dalbey dies of AIDs. World-Class douche-bag. Cannot believe he wins awards and still teaches and shit. Bet he still talks about Ada during lab.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Aug 2016
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CSC 102


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2016
He's just a piece of shit. He doesn't know how to teach, and is one of those professors that will look at you even if your hand is raised and not call on you to let you ask your questions. He's not clear at all yet thinks he's being clear as fuck and will grade you like he expected you to telepathically understand exactly what he means. Please do yourself a favor and avoid him at all costs. I think that he came back from retirement so I am only writing this review to further try to get students to not take him as he needs to quit already. He has never been a good professor and doesn't deserve to be on a payroll for teaching. He is literally the worst. Balding penis that has been ripped off and reattached only to be ripped off again. As you can see, I received a B so I'm writing this review to be salty or anything. Just to hopefully help students avoid him and the department will finally realize that they need to just fire him. Okay bye.

CPE 103


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2012
Honestly, the class wasn't that bad overall. The lectures themselves were very helpful. In lectures, he doesn't read from a book or anything because he reviews so he gives quizzes to make sure you've got the reading and goes into more specifics on the reading. WARNING - He gives *INSANE* amount of work. I'm going to pull out numbers and say, I've heard other classes get 6 programs, whereas this class gives you 8 programs, a journal that you have to keep track or -1% overall for every missing entry, quizzes, and (though expected...) labs after every class. It's enormous amount of work, especially depending on programming skills. Plus, he gives extra credit that are worth a lot, but it is INCREDIBLY hard. That said, I have become a way better programmer, who can catch more bugs quicker, and I can program without eclipse (though I hate BlueJ still). TOO LONG DIDN'T READ - PREPARE TO SACRIFICE CONSIDERABLE TIME, BECOME A BETTER PROGRAMMER.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
He is NOT a bad teacher. Initially, like everyone else, I looked at polyratings and was horrified about what I thought I was getting myself into when I was going to take CPE103. Study homework, spend time on the projects, go to ALL (or most) if the labs, and office hours if you have to, and you'll do perfectly fine. He may seem like a very conserved teacher, but he doesn't hate you or want to fail you. For those of you calling him an asshole, it's probably because you didn't do well on the projects so guys just wanted to find a source to blow up on. If you have to take Dalbey and no other teacher is available, just take Dalbey. He'll be fine.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
Professor Dalbey is a decent professor. You won't learn anything in lectures since he basically assigns everything you're supposed to learn in this course through the textbook readings, homework, and projects. However since homework is pretty much always due, you'll have to attend class anyway. Always do the readings because he WILL quiz you more often than you'll expect, and he'll make sure you actually understood the concepts you were supposed to read. Projects were very straight-forward, and in my opinion easy, and he offers extra credit for submitting projects early. The most difficult parts of the course will be the labs and of course the exams. Labs can be quite challenging, especially when you have to keep a lab notebook up to date in addition to figuring out quite complex problems in just an hour. He does give some leeway for submitting labs by making them due a day or two later than when lab actually is, but they're still tough. Study a LOT for the exams, especially the final. Make sure you have every detail down and know how to do certain problems from homework exactly how he wants you do to them. Professor Dalbey as a professor is okay, and he obviously knows what he's talking about most of the time, but there were quite a few times he wasn't able to answer students' questions or was unfamiliar with his own curriculum. He tries to be professional about everything but his shortfalls prevent him from truly portraying such a quality. Try to get someone else for 103, but if you end up with him it's not like it's the end of the world. Getting to know him in office hours isn't a bad idea.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2013
Interesting guy and pleasant to talk to and be around, but he has a very bad grading policy. He puts a ridiculous amount of weight on random quizzes and homework assignments. The projects take a ton of time to do during the quarter and there is a project every week, but he puts a skimpy amount of weight on the projects when it comes to your final grade. I got As on all of my projects and the midterm, and got a high B on the final, but I got a C on my quizzes and homework which brought my grade down to a B. Seems ridiculous to put so much weight on irrelevant pop quizzes.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Dec 2013
If you had a hard time in CPE 102(or any other programming class), you need this teacher for 103. I was having a hard time in 102 and understanding why we did certain things in java. But Dalby clarified almost everything. He would show the hard way to do things and then the easy way so that the students understood why we did certain things in programming. The students in this class taught themselves the course(readings before class). You would come into class with any questions you would have and he would then answer them. Some may say they are lazy and wouldn't do the reading but Dalby had pop quizzes so you had to in order to be prepared. On top of that homework was collected so the reading was almost mandatory(hw and pop quizzes made a notable impact on your grade). His grading is pretty fair for the midterm/final and they aren't so difficult as long as you do all the work he assigns. This class does have a lot of homework, reading, labs, and project(testing is what takes up most of the time), but it is all worth it in the end because he makes you a better programmer.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
Bob Slydell and Bob Porter are sitting behind a desk in a large office looking through stacks of papers in front of them. John Dalbey walks into the office wearing an old dress shirt, slacks, and closed-toe sandals. He sees no irony in the contrast his choice of footwear presents. Bob Slydell: (Reading from his paper) Ah good, Dalbey is it? Perfect, youíre just on time. Please, take a seat. Dalbey sits down in front of the two men and waits. Bob Porter: John Iím Bob Porter, and this is my partner Bob Slydell. Gestures to other Bob Bob Porter: (CONTíD) Bob and I work for outside consulting firm which was hired by Cal Poly to help resolve some of its ongoing budget problems. The first step in that process involves learning as much as we can about the organization. Bob Slydell: Weíve been interviewing various employees in an effort to get a feel for what a typical day might look like. Do you mind if we ask you a couple of questions? John Dabley: Well did you completely read the class syllabus? There is a long pause in which Bob and Bob exchange a confused glance. Bob Slydell: (hesitantly) ErrÖ Iím sorry? John Dalbey: Oh, my apologies that response has just become force of habit. Of course. Go right ahead. Bob Slydell: (more confidently) So your job here at Cal Poly is teach students about basic data structures and rudimentary analysis of algorithms for developing software. John Dalbey: Yes, that is correct. Bob Porter: So what you do is present the course material in front of the class in the form of a well thought out and structured lecture, the goal of which is to make it easy for the students to understand and remember the material? John Dalbey: (looking slightly annoyed) Well not exactly. All of the material is already laid out very clearly in the textbook so it seems superfluous to explain it in lecture. Generally I just stare at the students until they feel compelled to ask a question, no matter how trivial and unimportant it might be. I then spend an inordinately long time answering these questions while most of the class just spaces out. After the class runs out of asinine questions I pull up a simple game Iíve coded for another class and spend twenty minutes demonstrating how it is played. Bob and Bob exchange another glance before pressing on. Bob Porter: UmmÖ Right. Well the lecture is not the entire class. On top of lecture you assign programming projects to help students practice with the material. John Dabley: Correct. Bob Porter: So you explain these projects in lecture to give students a clear idea of what they should be doing and are happy to answer any questions they might have? John Dalbey: Hmm, not quite. I try my best to avoid actual explanations, so all of the project instructions are written online. These instructions are thorough to a fault, and as such, very difficult to read. It does not bother me that writing to avoid any ambiguity makes the writing itself difficult to interpret. I probably would have made a great lawyer. On top of this, many of the projects were written years ago so I have little idea what they actually entail, but it means that I have to put no effort into designing new projects. Bob Porter: Ahh, but you do personally grade these projects so that the students can learn from their mistakes and ask you for advice on how to improve in the future? John Dalbey: Well no, I have student graders or WebCat take care of that tedious task for me. There is yet another long pause Bob Slydell: So John, help me understand something. What exactly would you say you do here? John Dabley: (his voice getting louder as he goes on) Look I already told you, Iím a professor. I have professor skill! Why canít you people understand that!


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Dalbey is really quite unique. You'll seriously have to learn and abide by his preferences if you want to get by in the class. If you have a choice, do not by any means take him for 103. If you don't have a choice, please follow this advice. 1) do the readings before class. You never know if he'll give a pop quiz (you better have the right cards he asks for to write on or you'll get a 0) or collect the homework, and he'll be severely disappointed when he asks for questions on the material and no one has bothered to read it. so disappointed in fact, that he'll refuse to explain it in the future. watch out. 2) make sure you actually learn the concepts. very frequently he'll call on people with his stack of name cards to answer questions, finish an example, etc. it's quite embarrassing if you have nothing smart to say. 3) do not wait to start the programs. make sure you develop a great testing template in java that you can tweak for each project, you'll be making use of Reader and Writer a lot. WEB-CAT is not your friend. follow his personal style guide or lose major points. 4) know your data structures by heart and what they're best used for. if you use the wrong data structures in your answers on the exams, you've basically failed. also make sure to memorize all the sorting algorithms. 5) all of this being said, once you're finished with 103 you will thoroughly understand most of the material on a deeper level. the projects are challenging but do-able, and you can get D's on every exam and somehow come out with a B. he curves pretty sharply, or so i assume.


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
too much work and doesn't lecture. expects you to understand book 100%, which sucks. approachable during office hours if you want to wait in the super long line


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Well, the person below me pretty much nailed it. Everyone's heard horror stories from Dalbey's class. Everyone wonders, "can it really be that bad?" It's a thousand times worse. Dalbey is incompetent, mean-spirited, and petty. He is a poor computer scientist and a worse instructor. Whether you are ahead of the curve or struggling to keep up, you will gain nothing from his classes except maybe pain endurance and an empty wallet from the hundreds of pages (literally) of labs he makes you print out because he doesn't accept electronic submissions of code in 2015. Even the other professors know how bad he is. Don't indulge your masochism. Take a different class.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Alright, I'm gonna be as objective as possible because some of the evals here are literally no help. So the class consists of ~2 labs a week (so ~20 labs), 3 midterms, and a final. There's no projects but the labs are long enough where if you don't start early, you're screwing yourself over. Sometimes, you'll have 4 or 5 days to do the lab which is great. Sometimes, you'll have 1 or 2 days and you'll want to flip some tables. Just start early. I actually liked the fact that there always was a lab due, no matter what time of the week it was because it forced me NOT to procrastinate. This quarter, Dalbey decided to make everyone print their labs and submit it in person instead of using Webcat or whatever horrible system they were using before. Labs are credit/no credit. You'll get credit as long as you follow the specs and have system/JUnit tests. Oh, and he's also open to extra credit labs, as long as it pertains to the class. Talk to him about it before you do it. For all the midterms, you're given some problem and have to write out your solution by hand. Make sure you know how to apply the data structure to some problem. I averaged a D on the midterms and still walked out of the class with a B-, so it's not the end of the world if you do poorly on them. Final wasn't anything like the midterm. There were multiple choice questions, and the questions that involved writing anything straight up tested if you knew the data structure/algorithm or not (and not test the application of it like on the midterms). Do a little practice with the data structures/algorithms and the final will be ezpz. Overall, start the labs early, know the data structures/algorithms by heart, and know how to apply them to some problem. Yeah, Dalbey is a tough professor and it is a lot of work (as a novice programmer, I spent maybe +15 hours a week on this class, your mileage may vary) but you'll know your stuff by the end of the quarter.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2015
Let's be real. After seeing all the reviews on here I almost waited a quarter just to avoid taking it with him, it's not quite like these reviewers make it out to be. Quick overview: Yeah, Dalbey's no pushover and he's not the friendliest dude. However, there's not too big of a workload if you did ok in 102, you'll get some hands on experience with some important CS concepts, and if you know how to use the stuff you learn it's not too hard to get an A. Some more in-depth info: It seems like he changes the format of this class over time. For us there were labs due at the beginning of each class period graded credit/no credit, and if you didn't have it in the stack before :10 he gave you a zero. This was his way of getting people to come to class I think. You also had to turn them all in on paper, which was annoying. However, if you followed his format he was pretty fair grading them. Even if you missed a lab or two, it averaged out ok over time because there were 2 labs each week, and he offered extra credit. Tests were difficult, not gonna lie. They had to be hand written, and if you didn't start out on the right track you were pretty much screwed. He graded the first one very harshly, then eased up a bit on the other 2. As far as lecture goes- yeah, you should do the readings. They were usually pretty short and sometimes videos or animations. But it wasn't the end of the world if you didn't every once and awhile. He didn't teach the concepts in class, but instead walked us through examples as class activities, kind of similar to the flipped classroom approach. For me these were pretty helpful. What I liked about Dalbey was that he's very practical. He doesn't worry too much about the nitty gritty stuff, but more about how to use what we learn in real life applications. Definitely could improve on his people skills, but what do you expect from a CS guy. Anyway, if you have the choice between Dalbey and some new lecturer, choose Dalbey. You'll be glad when you go into your first interview.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2015
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CSC 103


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2007
Dalbey is a fairly lousy professor. Grades given on homework, exams, and lab books seemed almost completely arbitrary and inconsistent. Most of the class had points deducted from their first project for not completing the extra credit. Emailing Dalbey for help was essentially useless. He would instruct students that the issue was "not a problem," but then deduct points for the issue emailed about. Dalbey was kind and very helpful in office hours, though I had to wait for a good 20 minutes in line the few times I went to see him. Professor Dalbey also drastically violated his syllabus. 3/4 through the quarter we had already completed about 150% of the labs and about 150% of the homeworks, on track to complete about twice the homeworks and twice the labs specified in the syllabus. It was pointed out to Dalbey that this was against the syllabus and therefore the students' contract with the department, and he made the rest of the labs and homework "optional." Naturally, lab quizzes and the lab portion of tests covered material directly from the "optional" labs, making the labs fairly necessary. The required text (


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2008
I would recommend not taking Dalbey for 103. Find a different teacher, take some GEs and supports, go abroad, or take a quarter off. He is too software engineering oriented to be teaching a theoretical class like Computer Science 103, and his inability to effectively grade his own tests or identify students' difficulties make him a poor teacher for 103.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2008
I have mixed feelings about Dalbey. He never really lectured at all. He expects you to read the book and learn from that. Lecture time is used discussing projects, labs, or homework 80% of the time. His projects were not that hard, BUT FOLLOW HIS SPECIFICATION TO THE LETTER. On project 2 he marked me down 50% of my grade because my queue threw an exception rather than return null when asked to retrieve the first element of an empty queue. I felt his grading scheme for projects was largely unfair (I didn't get higher than a C on any of them) but he gives extra credit...apparently a lot of extra credit. Overall: hes ok, go for the extra credit and visit his office hours for projects even if you think you are doing it right.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2010
I would not recommend Professor Dalbey. For my class, he tried using an online grader called Web-cat. We had 8 projects a quarter and had to get each to 100% via the online grader if we even wanted a grade in the class. Don\'t procrastinate on the projects! (Luckily, he gave partial credit for late submissions for up to a week late? I can\'t remember the exact amount) I know it\'s so tempting, but getting a project to 100% takes many hours. My partner and I ended up spending about 10-15 hours a week on just the projects (not including the labs or homeworks). The lectures are mostly for questions on the projects. You need to teach yourself from the book (which isn\'t too hard relative to the programming projects), to do the homework and do well on the midterms and final. If you email Professor Dalbey, make them professional and detailed. You will get a much better response.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2012
Literally the biggest asshole I have ever met in my life. Before choosing this professor I looked thoroughly through the other ratings on here, and came to the conclusion that it would be a somewhat demanding quarter in his class in terms of workload, but that the lecturing itself and actual "learning" would be worthwhile and challengingly enjoyable. Boy was I wrong. Dalbey is an old fart who gets worked up over the smallest, stupidest things related to programming, to the point where he will scream his head off in class at his students as if somehow its our faults that, for example, him forgetting to override an equals method in an experiment would result in backwards and wrong results. The projects are made to test your understanding of different data structures, but beyond that are very simple; just read his specifications carefully and they'll be super easy. Aside from the projects though, the class ends up mainly being difficult because Dalbey can't actually teach you anything. All you do in class is go over homework and ask questions about the projects due; none of the reading done is discussed (at least most of the time), in the beginning you teach yourself how to do certain homework problems, and doing well on his tests (quizzes/midterm/final) is just a matter of knowing the material like the back of your hand, AND having to deal with vague indescriptive questions and hope that you're answering it correctly, because asking for him to "clarify" something for you is never going to help you. Overall, don't take Dalbey. You may have the entire CSC department breathing down your neck to take this class during a certain quarter so that you graduate "in time," but even if it means being pushed back a quarter or having to take a summer class, do not take Dalbey. Take someone who knows how to teach students and present themselves in a TRULY professional manner.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
Obviously, before the quarter, I was strongly deterred by this guy's Polyratings. He really isn't as bad as some of these people say, but he's definitely not anything spectacular. Very boring lectures that basically review everything he assigned in reading and homework the day before. And it's not like he creatively presents the material in a way to help you understand it at a deeper level. Typical lecture: review/turn in homework, listen to him repeat the readings, practice problems. Bleh. I'd say he assigns more than average, and I definitely committed WAY more time to this class than any other class this quarter, but besides the occasional frustrating bug/wall, the programs and labs are doable. TL;DR: Boring guy, time consuming class, put this guy down as your 3rd or 4th choice.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Dalbey is definitely an interesting professor. He is actually the first professor I have decided to leave a review for. This "fundamentals" course taught by him seems more like an upper level course, where he expects students to know all the information, and as a result, he never lectures about the basics in class. That's your job (all the information is in the book, why would he ever need to lecture?! /s) Normally CPE/CSC are structured to have an hour long lecture with a lab immediately after. Mr. Dalbey chooses to have an hour long "lab activity" during lecture hour with another (completely separate) lab of his choosing during lab hour. Since students have no time to work on these labs (3 per week with usually only 30 minutes to work on them in class), an extremely large amount of work is placed on the student outside of class. He expects students to 1) Perform each textbook reading 3 times outside of class and present questions (since he will never talk about the readings unless provoked), 2) Churn out 3 labs per week (submitted to WEBCAT or polylearn, both of which I have received NO FEEDBACK on all quarter) 3) Do a project every other week., (This one isn't too bad, but you are failed if caught conversing with another student about the project -- be warned). All in all, if you have a choice, do not take Mr. Dalbey. He does not teach and has unrealistic expectations of his students. If you do take him, be prepared to have lots of work outside of class, to teach yourself java and everything about data structures, and to attend his office hours (he is a lot more approachable in there). 2/10 would not take again.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Dalbey (Or Mr. Dalbey as he likes to be called, apparently calling him by his last name is disrespectful) Believes in an alternate teaching method where he gives you pointless busywork instead of actually teaching. Now it's not this that made the class an awful experience it was more the fact that the activities he had us do ended up taking several hours each when we only had 1 hour of lecture to do them. Students ended up having to meet with their predetermined lab partners just to do extra work to get credit, in addition to the programming assignments, reading, and homework we also had to do. This class required about the same amount of time commitment as all of my other classes combined and I felt like I learned nothing. His assignments were the programming equivalent of pulling teeth. All but one of them required extraneous extra effort to add a "fun" element in the form of console based input/output. The input output had to match his to a T and there was very little wiggle room. The console work ended up being 2/3 of each assignment and were much more effort than they were worth. His program tests (Which are run through Webcat) are about as comprehensive as the testing software for NASA, but on a low level programming assignment and not nearly as good. Even if your tests are getting correct output, there is no guarantee that you will pass the test cases, and he doesn't help in the slightest when trying to debug them. His tests are equally awful. He has a lot of java based questions and this isn't even technically a java class that serve zero purpose other than to punish those students who would rather spend time learning the actual course material instead of useless information that any programmer just looks up. Not only that, but for the lab part of his midterm he gave students a problem for something they were supposed to learn the week after the midterm, which the only actual solution wasn't actually possible. Easily the worst teacher in the department. He is a one trick pony when it comes to software development in java (And he hasn't even learned Java 8 yet) and you would be better off taking literally any other teacher.


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
sucks


Sophomore
F
General Ed
Mar 2015
No.


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Don't fucking bother. Way too much fucking busywork, it's too annoying. Don't know why he thinks we still live in the 90s.


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
haaaaaate webcat. book sucks and so does daldick, please avoid like the bubonic plague


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
...


Junior
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
go to office hours early! he's the most helpful there. in class he's pretty useless


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
terrible. doesn't care about you, assigns 3 labs a week that take up a ton of time and will put you behind in ur other classes. please avoid or take a quarter off


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
He is not an easy professor. I am talking about the class. I am quite in the part of love/hate this class. I learned a lot by reading the book and doing lab. It will be a lot of work, and not easy. However, if you go to his office hour, it is surprisingly effective. He can teach you in his office hour more than what you learn from him in the class. Just a big head up: a lot of work is expected. I stayed up many nights to finish the assignment. Webcat is really horrible grading tool. It is a tricky and doesn't tell you why your program failed. Overall, I will give this class a B


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
complete bs


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
the rating about the balding penis nails it


Sophomore
F
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
fuck this dude, srsly.


Sophomore
F
General Ed
May 2015
so stupid


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2015
Imagine this. You are driving down the road and then BOOM! You hear a loud noise and pump the breaks. Smoke billows out from the engine of your car. You get out and look over and on the side of the road and there lies Mr. Dalbey. You just ran him over. He is badly hurt. What do you do? You proceed to grab the nearest heavy object and apply as much blunt force trauma you can muster to finish the job. Fuck you man. Fuck you. Oh yeah, don't take Dalbey. You'll be better off dying from the Khazouk. (Google it)


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
May 2015
I wholly believe that Dalbey has given me Stockholm Syndrome. I've had other friends tell me about the horrors of having him for 103 before I even registered for the class, so I when I walked into his class on the first day of the quarter, I was already full of hate for this man who looks like a balding penis. I hated my life for four weeks, until everything just clicked. I sucked at some Java concepts, but now I understand. I see Dalbey for who he is. He is the most underrated CS professor at Cal Poly. Take him if you want to ascend to another plane of understanding Java. Praise Dalbey.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
May 2015
please rip the skin off his balding penis


Junior
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
this dude is basically a balding penis that needs to cum really badly.


Junior
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
this guy is a dick. don't bother. everyone who has said he's a balding penis is right


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
May 2015
What a joke. How is this dinosaur still a professor? I feel bad for whoever else will have to sit through his shit and work on his assignments which he changes at the last minute. He's stuck in the past and hardly ever actually teaches.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
forever a balding penis


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
No.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
dickhead


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
May 2015
Ridiculous


Junior
A
General Ed
Jun 2015
************************************************** There's a massive number of reviews here for Dalbey -- most of them negative. Some are simple and eloquent ("please rip the skin off his balding penis"), others, long and creative. And well, I'm disappointed....Not because they aren't deserved. Oh no. I'm disappointed because no number of 0 star reviews, balding penis jokes, or long, creative rants will ever come close to fully expressing the true wretchedness and incompetence of this man's soul. It took around 9.3 billion years before the earth first formed and microorganisms populated its waters, and another 4.5 billions years of evolution before humans walked its surface. And yet, after all this time nature has spent crafting the great creatures we are today, a vile, hairless mistake emerged from one unfortunate human over 60 years ago: Mr. Dalbey. One day, we shall mummify his body and prop him on display for generations to come, so when humans spread across the solar system and carry on with our quests and philosophical pursuits, we will have a beacon to look down upon say "That, my child, is what we must never become."


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Jun 2015
No.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
shitty dick bag


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
i want to kill myself after 10 weeks of horror.


Junior
F
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Never fucking again.

CPE 205


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2001
I had heard a lot about Dalbey before taking Software Engineering. All my friends told me to drop it and take it later, but I decided to go with it. I was glad I did. He will work you hard, and he does like you to figure things out yourself, but he's not anti-student by any means. If you have an honest problem, explain it to him plainly, and he will definitely help you understand it. The class was definitely not easy, but none of the 205 sections are. If you want to get a lot out of a class, definitely take Dalbey. One of my favorite classes ever.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2002
I read all the terrible reviews from last year before taking 205, and was scared as hell to take this class. However, it appears that Professor Dalbey also read all the terrible reviews, and instead of becoming bitter about the bad reviews like a lot of professors, actually worked hard at improving all of the things people had problems with, and was very open with the class about how to improve. Now (Fall 2001) he has totally turned aruond all those bad reviews, and is a great professor. Expect tons of work, and having to figure out a lot of stuff on your own, but it is all very relevant to industry and important to learn. This class is very worthwhile, and Dalbey is the best prof to take it with.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2002
I was very nervous taking his class because of all the bad review about him. After I have done taking his class, honestly, I think he is a very good proffessor. He just gave out lots of work. I guess that is why people hate him. There was time that I hated him too cause he expected too much out of you and due to ton of work that he gave out. But now come to think of it, I learned a lot out of this class. I am glad I took his class. If you like easy B or A then take someone else, but you wanna learn then take Dalbey.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2003
Software engineering took up most of my time the quarter I took it. It is not very different than a part time job. I spent an average of 20 hours a week on it, because not only are you developing a product but also doing a lot of reading, homework, and very difficult programs that require a lot of skill to figure out. As a teacher Dalbey is not too bad, he is not boring like most csc/cpe teachers. He does have a very poorly organized website though, as I sometimes couldn't find things that I needed for the class. Also I felt a little insulted by him sometimes, as he is very happy to make your shortcomings known to all.


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Mar 2004
John Dalbey in my opinion is a difficult professor to evaluate. His class is EXTREMELY demanding and he has no tolerance for failure. Most of his students do not like him. However when you sit down and talk to the guy hes pretty cool. Hes a hard ass because he expects the best for a university who claims to put out the best. However in all honesty if you plan on taking any of his classes you better have time. If you work, have a girlfriend or any form of a life then be prepared to end up with the C. I have seen him fail students but any reasonable student who belongs in this university can get through his class. He is human afterall so if your having trouble go see him. He will help.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2004
Hmm... first of all, I'd like to point out that I listed this class as a lecture only because "part time job without pay and with waaaay too much bullshit from the boss" wasn't listed. He plans on giving about 20 hours of work a week. If you go over, you better tell him you did less (you log your hours) otherwise you can get docked points. Oh, and kiss his ass very often, because I compared grades with people and NONE OF IT MATCHED! THE GRADES WERE PULLED OUT OF HIS ASS COMPLETELY! ok... first of all, being tardy twice counts as an absence. Being absent twice deducts a letter grade. That being said, someone who scored as well (possibly a bit lower) than me AND had 6 or 8 tardies got an A. I had 6 tardies, but I WORKED MY FRIGGEN ASS OFF doing extra work to make up for it. I got a's on everything and got extra credit on the final... yet I get a B? Why? Every person in the class agreed that his grades were completely made up in the end. Second problem with dalbey: He assigns project requirements before you have the homework that teaches you how to do it. He uses the fact that he's trying to make this a job type scenario as an excuse to not teach. He lectures for a bit with hollow lectures and then tests something else. "Correct this diagram - for every error I had and you didn't, you lose a point. For every error you had and I didn't, you lose a point" If this is a friggen job, HE NEEDS TO BE MORE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT IT. He posts homework assignments sometimes at 9PM the night before they are due at 8AM in the morning!! I've missed assignments because there was nothign posted for 5 days and then I was too stupid not to check it when he posted it at like 10... His complete arrogance is annoying. His time is golden and your time is trash. That's why it's so taboo to be literally 5 seconds late. That's why after working on my program for the whole quarter, he THEN PRESENTS AN API because he made it w/o talking to any of us. I talked to him after class and we compared our designs. He admitted that mine was better, but he didn't want to have to change his, but since it probably wouldn't take more than 10 hours to fix, I should do the changes. THAT"S ABSOLUTE BS. Seroiusly man... if you can avoid this guy at ANY cost, you should...

CSC 205


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
as you can see why, i was aprehensive before i took him. but he's been one of the better csc teachers i've had. teaches great, explains well, just don't show up late to class (and espcially don't let the slam the door when you do come in late).


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
He is an OK teacher but you have to be able to teach yourself things.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
This is definitly a do-it-yourself prof. Nothing is explained in class until the week after it is due. He changes his mind constantly on what is due and how to do it. He grades hard until the end of the quarter and then suddenly gives up on being a bastard and gives a major curve. The comment above about being late is VERY true. If you walk in late, watch for flying Dry-Erase markers. Luckily his aim REALY sucks.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Aug 1999
He keeps students busy by giving them hours of useless assignments. You will question everything that comes out of his mouth but debating with him is like arguing with a brick wall. Everyday he walks into class with 5 minutes of prepared material but always manages to stretch it out to fill the whole 50 minutes. He is the most frustrating teacher I have ever taken.


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Nov 1999
This guy has no grading policy. He rips on your work for the entire quarter and then he passes you at the end. You MUST be able to teach yourself because he dosn't teach. He will constantly change his mind on what an assignment entails, and then tell you something different after you turned it in. He frustrates everyone. And it's true. Don't be late. He WILL throw pens at you for just walking in late.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2000
The worst classroom experience I have ever encountered. He made my quarter a living hell. Imagine 10-15 hours per week of work, which 90% is spent trying to figure out what the hell you're supposed to do. The book is completely worthless, Dalbey makes absolutely NO attempt to relate any material to the group project. The reading questions he assigns are similarly worthless, a waste of 3 hours every week. Dalbey gives you no help whatsoever on your group project. DO NOT take Dalbey unless you want your stress level to jump by a factor of 10 (at least). I learned NOTHING from his class...and you will learn to loathe him, guaranteed. Especially his stupid voice cracking every day in class...you'd think he's going through puberty.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Jan 2001
How is this guy still teaching at Cal Poly? Every single person in my class hated him, he was the worst professor I've ever seen. He gives you ZERO help and ZERO direction, and the book is worthless. So you have to struggle and stress for the whole quarter, and your project is a big hack job. I don't feel like he taught me anything, other than how to feel completely lost. He should be fired, no question about it.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2001
.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2002
Ok, I don't know where all these bad reviews came from, but this class was my favorite last year. I found Dalbey to be my most enjoyable CSC professor since Dr. Turner. It has also turned out to be the first class I have ever been able to get an A in. In Lecture he can't be beat, he is very interesting to listen to, and involves the whole class in his talks. In lab you work with a team, and build a software product. It's not so bad. Plus, the midterm and final have a very low effect on your grade (30% combined). He keeps an up to date website with all your homework and other issues. True, it takes about two hours for each homework and maybe nine hours a week on your team project (including lab time). And doing things with the team is fun anyway. Don't be scared by the past reviews, I think he may have changed since the early ones and is now a good choice for Software Engineering.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2002
.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2002
A pretty unique guy.<br> Pro: If you have any problems, work in advance with him and he would arrange extension on homeworks. Talk with him in advance and sign up for extra credits if anything screw up.<br> Con: Homeworks are more than necessary. It would takes about 3 hours for each homework and 9 hours a week for group works.<br>


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Feb 2003
This guy is horrible. He gives tests that are ridiculous and his projects are ridiculous. He gives homework, tests, and at the same time, there's project deliverables. He expects too much and grades incredibly hard. For homework or anything that needs to be turned in, you can't have more than 3 misspelled words or grammar errors, else you get it back and no credit(same goes for emails, if your email has a misspelled word or grammar error, he doesn't reply). If you can, avoid this guy.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2004
This class is very interesting I learned a lot. There is always something do, HW or project deliverable. It is not an easy class, but if you do your work you will get an A. If you start early and you have problems he will give you extensions, and he is very very very helpful during his office hours, and outside his office hours, he helps you anytime you have a problem, and also if you have a problem that you can really solve and he sees that you tried real hard he will give you the solution. If you are the type of person that leaves every thing for the night before like I was you will learn to manage your time. The homework and the lecture are really great you learn a lot. I personally I liked the guy he was a nice guy inside or outside of class very patient. And he

CPE 206


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2002
Is he a good professor? Yes. But that depends of course on your definition of good. He'll assign mounds of work for one. Now for some people that isn't a problem. But for others with girlsfriends, sports, activities, and the occasional weekend vacation, IT'S BRUTAL! Do not take Dalbey under the impression "you'll learn a lot" if you don't want to put in the work. He pumps you, and you get the point midway through, but the second part of the quarter is a living hell. I did well in his class because I became a work-slave. Will I be better off in the future, probably not. But hey at least I'm immune to any other barrage of work that comes my way!


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2003
Prof. Satan, er Dalbey, has made me regret not only going to Cal Poly, but also regret becoming a computer science major. Because of him, I cannot imagine anyone in his 205 & 206 courses becoming a software engineer. It all began in 205 when we were expected to finish Stage 1 of a project that was far outside the scope of what we should have had to do as sophomore students. Not only did we have to "learn" software engineering techniques, but also a whole lot of new technology for a company, the infamous Brocade, who couldn't have given a rat's ass about what we accomplished. Learning about MOFs, storage area networks, the wbemservices api, and so much more should have taken a whole quarter in and of itself. Plus Dalbey himself didn't even "get it" that first quarter. Now add in 402/405 students who were told one thing by Sterns and another by Dalbey and total chaos ruled. This class was such a joke. We spent literally 60 hours the final week to get in done for a C. This guy loves to make everyone feel shitty - that is the only thing Dalbey does well. He is the most pompous, condescending person I have ever met. The old saying, he who doesn't - teaches, is true. Then in 206 Dalbey lies and says that the process we use is more important than what is accomplished - yeah right, until the last two weeks of class where we are all screwed. If you are considering taking it with Dalbey don't. You WILL spend a minimum of 20 hours per week, and unless you kiss some major rear expect a B minimum. Everything must be in on time, if not, a C is the best you can do. And that "process is more important" was another load of crap. Take a lesser load if you decide to take him - otherwise wait. Why put yourself through the misery. He gave us a 15-hour take home final in addition to the in class!?! When are we suppose to study for the inclass with the big take home? And what about OTHER classes? Wow. Do NOT think you can handle him. Remove your pride for a minute and think logically. I had a high GPA B.D. (Before Dalbey), but with all the time spent in his class my other classes dropped and then he decided to give me a lower grade. This guy made 205 and 20666 horrible. Don't do it. Oh yeah, and he has this horrible attendence and tardy policy. If you're always 5 minutes late, like me, make sure his classes isn't your first. He'll lower your grade because of your attendence. More b.s. from Satan. And what was worse, is we HAD to take him again for 206 - it was like some horrible dictator ruler had come into Cal Poly and said, "You are screwed for another 3 months..." That was completely unfair. I would have killed to take 206 with Fisher or even Sterns at that point. Let me end it on this note, Dalbey is a detriment to Cal Poly and both the computer science and the new software engineering departments - with all the budget cuts, he'd be the first thing I'd personally let go.

CSC 206


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2001
While you can learn a lot about software engineering in this course, his grading is very strict. Both the midterm and the final had coding portions, even though coding is not part of the course. Your entire grade basically depends on how much work you do on the group project.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2002
Dr. Dalbey's reviews make him out to be a terrible teacher. However, I didn't find him to be that bad as an instuctor. It's true, he does assign a truck load of work, so if you take his class, expect to be up 'til 3:00 in the morning at least once a week. I was surprised and angered to get a C in his class; I expected a B. I would not call Dr. Dalbey an accurate/fair grader.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Sep 2003
This guy is not bad at "teaching" -- he's just a bad person. He is a sadist and a bastard. He can lecture and give you some good ideas, but he should not be allowed to organize or plan a class, develop curriculum, or determine your grade. 1) Dalbey gave our class 20 hours of homework a week -- the equivalent of a part time job. It is unfair and unethical to give a full time student that much work. 2) Dalbey gave us almost zero instruction as to how to do any of our projects. He doesn't realize that his job is to teach us, not just to assign work. 3) Some students had to work on a real, incredibly complex industrial project, while others got to work on a SIMPLE 2D VIDEO GAME! The industrial project required specialized knowledge in WEBM, CIM, networking, providers, telnet, and http. The video game required basic java libraries. There was no curve in favor of the people working on the industry project. 4) Dalbey had a special meeting with my group to tell us that the class was about process, not coding. We then concentrated on process, and the final test was on - you guessed it -- coding. 5) Not only did we have a 3 hour in class final, but we had a 15 hour take home final. Again, unfair and unethical. 6) Dalbey never understood the projects he assigned. Many were literally impossible to complete, and he had to revise assignments after students pointed out that his assignments were faulty. 7) Some students had to work on other people's old 205 projects, while others worked on the their own project from 205. Everyone who worked on other people's projects got worse grades, obviously, because Dalbey didn't understand that they were doing something more difficult. Dalbey doesn't care about being fair or having an organized class. He is a sadist and a creep, and I wouldn't trust him to be alone around small children. 80% of what I learned in 205/206 was learned by myself. Avoid this man at all costs.


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2004
First of all, his grading is the stupidest thing ever. I think he just gives you depending on the image you gave him during his class. I mean, com'on, how can people be freaking dying in that class, meaning working from 12-40 hours on any typical weeks and get a freak C for the course. I bet someone probably got a better grade than I did despite the fact that person might have tardies/absences and did less for the group project. Did I mention that he'll TEACH you how to use tools for your project, but only to an extend that he'll teach you the basic of the basic, then he'll make you apply it on your project which can be many times more difficult, frustrating and time consuming (Talking about thrashing, he's like the main source of thrashing and time shortage) The worst of all that, it is ridiculous that this class is 4 units and takes up almost more time than having two 4 units courses? How can someone thinks JAVA is stupid and teaches a course with JAVA? How can this be a simulation of an actual job if Physical needs can't be archieve *hint hint* self actualization, self esteem, safety... all lies. Listen to what he say, but don't believe it all.

CSC 301


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Mar 2016
I'll be the first to admit, Dalbey can be a difficult instructor. However, what he teaches you is how to be a more marketable professional, instead of how to pass a class. Honestly 301 is one of the easier courses offered. The assignments are all fairly easy, as the focus is more on improving the process you use to write software than how to write specific algorithms. Dalbey knows his stuff, and if you can get used to his style of class, you can really improve yourself and be prepared for what real life industry is like.

CSC 302


Senior
A
Elective
Mar 2005
I would not recommend anyone to take a class taught by Dr. Dalbey. Individually his faults in teaching CSC 302 are minor, but taken together they are a major problem. First, he didn't plan the course very well. Assignments were made up as he went along and posted on his website. Unfortunately, we often weren't told about them in class and if you didn't check the website every day, you could miss them. Another problem is that his questions were extremely ambiguous. He expected students to understand every nuance of the question. For example, one question was, "Describe three examples where people's judgment or skill has improved because of computers." It seems like a straightforward question, but what he expected students to understand is that he is talking about situations that without computers would be impossible to do. A flight simulator wouldn't count because it is possible to learn to fly without them. It depends on a student's preference, but I feel he over relied on student presentations to teach the course. Individual student presentations accounted for about half of the time spent in class and the last week was entirely group presentations. The teaching time was further shortened by quizzes, which, like the homework, were also given with no or little notice. Add in the time spent reviewing the homework and the usual small talk at the beginning of class and there was almost no time for teaching. Actually, all three of the computer science classes I've taken have done this sort of thing. Just about the only thing they do is grading. I didn't pay my tuition expecting to have other students teach me, with their presentations, which were sometimes awful or irrelevant to the class.


Junior
A
General Ed
Mar 2005
It was not difficult to get a good grade in this class at all. There were weekly reading quizzes which made you keep on top of the readings, but it wasn't very difficult to tell what main topics would be quizzed on. However his questions, more so on the midterms, were often tricky, at times even ridiculous. However he offers extra credit throughout the course. Not a great professor, but I've had worse.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Apr 2005
Definitely an easy A. But, such a boring class! The student presentations are a waste of time, you're not even tested on them. Also, there is tons of writing involved in this class, as each homework assignment is about 2 pages of typed work. Mostly busy work type stuff. He offers lots of extra credit, so no getting an A is definitely easy. Not much motivation for going to class. But, if you have to do your tech requirement, this is a semi interesting class, mostly filled with discussions about current events.


Senior
B
General Ed
Jun 2005
This class consists of 1 midterm, final, group project, individual project, & about 2 hw assignments a week. The individual & group projects are pretty easy since the course content is so simple to understand. The first hour of class is lecture & the 2nd hour is of individual project presentations. Dalbey was an okay professor. The only frustrating part was that the questions that he'd want you to answer (in lecture, on the hw, or on the tests) are kind of open ended so it's hard to get the answer. He doesn't hesitate to point out if your presentation sucks too so make it decent @ least. Also, if you're going to use a computer as part of your presentation, make sure it works 'cuz he's not very understanding when there's technical problems.


Junior
A
General Ed
Dec 2010
Professor Dalbey is a terrible instructor. He is horrible at writing tests and tests students on what seems like unimportant material. In the 2 hour lecture, he spends 45 minutes tops lecturing. What he lectures on is only about 5 % of the test. Then there are 2 student presentations a day. There are about 5 topic exams, a presentation, homework assignments due everyday, a midterm and a cumulative final. The only reason I got an A is because he curves everything in the end. Do not take a class with Dalbey.

CPE 305


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
I don't know why people are hating on Dalbey so much. He's not the best professor out there, but there are definitely much worse. I got an A by doing the programs on time and doing all the labs. Nothing was really too difficult at all. It seemed like he made the class much easier, as 305 was supposedly more difficult in the past. I wouldn't go out of my way to take Dalbey, but if you have to take him its not as bad as some people on this polyrating seem to make it out to be.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2012
He's a nice teacher and will help you if you need help but seriously... he NEEDS to learn that students have OTHER THINGS to do. This isn't the ONLY class I'm taking, and classes are NOT my ONLY responsibility. I have work and another class this summer, yet I find myself spending 3/4 of my time working on his homework, projects, and studying for quizzes. Wtf. TOO MUCH HOMEWORK. The projects are enough to worry about for god's sake.

CSC 305


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Jul 2005
It was his first time teaching it and he did okay. If your options are Staley or Dalbey... you CAN pass dalbey. I learned a lot. but it was time consuming... not hard... time consuming. He didn't reveal the direction the project was heading in until the week you had to work on THAT milestone, so every week you had to practically re-do all your code to make it work for the next week. Mid terms were cool, not too hard, but very very very opionion based, so listen to what he thinks in class... that's how he grades. Final... same as midterm. it was a cool class setup, each day someone would present a technical topic and we'd all discuss it, it was pretty legit. It started out SOUNDING crappy, but i learned a lot. Good guy, just not TOO helpful in office hours. but hey, he's worth it.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
May 2006
Just a note: people like the guy below sort of rob this site of its validity. I'm not about to say that Dalbey's a great teacher, and from what I've heard and read about his 205/206 (I guess now 308/309) classes I wouldn't want to take them with him. However, with 305, he did a really good job. The inevitable comparisons to Staley are bound to come up, but they aren't all disfavorable. Dalbey gets started with the project week 1, while with Staley you don't start until week 3 or 4, so it's much more rushed. Dalbey's specs are much easier to read and comprehend. While you don't learn the crapload with Dalbey that you do with Staley, you do get to use Java, instead of C++, the latter of which is on its way out. The project does introduce some important aspects of Java, like Observer/Observable, Reflection, and Properties. Dalbey is really big on coming up with better designs and solutions, which isn't really a bad thing. Overall, he was pretty good for this class, if not for the others.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
I have to agree with me fellow classmate below. In context to the CSC305 course, Mr. Dalbey provided great class material, was fairly good at presenting the material in a meaningful way, especially with the project. I think some students have a hard time understanding just how difficult it is to setup a quarter long programming assignment without having at least a dozen issues arise. That's the name of the game people. Even the best planning won't prevent problems from occuring in design or code. I would mark Mr. Dalbey a little lower when it comes to recognizing students difficulties. But again I think this is related to the complications of programming and the various ways one can implement the same program. He's fairly liberal with the grades overall. I really don't think I deserved a B as I didn't spend nearly as much time on the project as other students did.


Senior
D
Required (Major)
Aug 2006
305 is a huge workload, no matter who you take it with. For me, the material was easy to understand but very time consuming to implement, which resulted in a D. Dalbey's grading is a little strict, but not terrible. The tests are somewhat objective, but the project is straightforward. Turning in milestones late was what really ruined my grade.


Senior
A
Required (Support)
Aug 2006
Maybe he's getting better, I don't know. I thought that Dalbey did a decent job with thi 305 class, and the others on the page have pretty much said what I thought about it. Start all the projects super-early and ask him when you have a problem. I got all of mine in on time. Dalbey allows plenty of extra credit opportunities, and his tests are actually not bad at all. I found him very accommodating in regards to special situations that arose. Generally a nice guy, maybe a little misunderstood? You should definitely try to get Fisher for 308/309 (he's awesome!) but getting Dalbey for 305 isn't a raw deal (I'd also recommend taking Staley's version, but unless you're really good, audit it or take it CR/NC).


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Oct 2011
Dalbey is the worst CSC teacher I have had at Poly. Besides the ridiculous policy for turning in pre-printed hw (if he doesn't receive it before 10 after its late. Dalbey must think we live in the 90s and have FAX machines in the back of class), he does not teach anything. He simply states the obvious points covered in the reading. I have not learned anything from this man and I am surprised he was able to obtain a PhD. He's definitely one of those people that had to work extremely hard to get by, which is indicated by the amount of hw he assigns. Luckily, he may consider the labs challenging which means an average 2nd year will have no problem. Oh, and he thinks Java is the best language ever, giving us no options or flexibility in our language choice simply because he is too lazy and needs automatic grading. And this is in 305, Individual Software Design, which leads one to think it would be open ended. Guess I will continue to learn C++ on my own and in industry. Please do not take Dalbey.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2012
Don't trip this class was easy and dalbey was cool and always willing to help. Just complete the projects and you are good to go.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
This was one of the worst CS classes I have ever taken. It is essentially an advanced JAVA course, but I would be hard pressed to explain to you what new material we actually learned. Almost all the time spent in this class is useless busywork. For example, one of our assignments involved re-factoring a 2000 line chunk of code. The part of that assignment that actually pertained to this class- the design portion- took me a few hours to come up with. The rest of the over 50 hours I spent on the project involved making tedious changes to the formatting of the code so it would pass an automated style checker, and making sure that the outputs matched Dr. Dalbey's arbitrary criteria that he never actually explained how to meet (Instead, you would just have to submit your code to an automatic grader, see what it complained about, then fix and re-submit). The amount of homework that Dr. Dalbey expected students to complete was excessive and unreasonable. I personally had trouble keeping up in my other classes because of the sheer amount of work I had to put into this class. In addition, communicating with Dr. is extremely difficult. One week, he ended up getting sick, and ignored all our emails for the entire week, despite the fact that we all had projects due that week. In class, he barely lectures; instead, we spend most of the time trying to figure out what he wants us to do on the current project by asking questions. If I had to give Dr. Dalbey a grade, it would be an F. This class was an absolute disgrace.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jan 2015
Dalbey turned what could have been an interesting course into a nightmare. He gives almost as much work as 357- which might have been manageable if he didn't change the specs so constantly (up to a day before a project was due!) Don't expect any treatment other than mocking and anger during class. Expect ridiculously complex tests that tangle you up in minutia. If you go to office hours, he can be helpful, but you will have to live in office hours if you want to do well in this class.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Think of the worst person you know. Now think of that person having a child with Satan. Then think of that child fornicating on Sauron's eye and a balding penis rising from the center of it. Dalbey is that balding penis. If Cal Poly fired this guy, world peace will be achieved and there will not be anymore hungry children in Africa. Think of the kids, do not take this guy for any reason. Someone please steal his cute dog, I feel sorry for it. Just please finally get laid Dalbey and leave the children alone. You're destroying the next generation of computer scientists.

CSC 307


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2014
Do not take dalbey, under any circumstances. A complete failure in teaching relevant material because his material and views on the subject are wrong and outdated. He is a dinosaur in a fast moving area of technology. Overloaded with work that was not related to the class and restricted in style of code and choices of software. He admitted to everything on the midterm being subjective, and our entire class argued with him for an hour and a half about a bunch of the questions, many of which he finally threw out because they were shit.

CPE 308


5th Year Senior
A
Required (Major)
May 2006
Polyratings asks me to "grade this instructor's ability to recognize and clarify student difficulties," which I had previously thought was a rather silly question. Until I took Dalbey. He gets an F in that regard, unequivocally. It's a very concise way to describe Dalbey's main failing. Every problem he has stems from his inability to recognize student difficulties and his unwillingness to resolve them when he can. Nothing that goes wrong in the class (and a lot will) is EVER his fault; it is ALWAYS your fault. I would not recommend him for Software Engineering, but if you do get stuck with him, your only hope is to get a good PM who basically does Dalbey's job for him. And if you are the PM, remember that the drop period ends the 2nd week of class.

CSC 308


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2007
A lot of people don't seem to like him but he is very fair and is more than willing to help students in office hours. Admittedly though he can be condecending and a prick but if you can get past that, he is a really good professor.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2012
He doesn't teach you anything you didn't already know and he is really unreasonable about his requirements for students. An extremly time-consuming group project AND extremely tedious homework you learn essentially nothing from. It is a waste of life.


Senior
F
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
Absolutely the worst professor I've had at Poly. I believe this was his first time teaching agile development methodology in 308 and he completely failed at doing so. This was a complete waste of time. If given the chance, take Fisher over Dalbey, you won't regret it.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2012
Prof. Dalbey has a very unique style of teaching: at first glance, he's very hands-off, letting the students explore software development at their own pace. In reality, he creates an extremely isolated environment with very specific parameters that allows budding software engineers to build their skill sets safely. I've (surprisingly) learned a lot from his classes. His teaching style isn't for everyone, mind you -- you've got to have a want to learn. Just... don't be late to class. He'll dock you points if you are!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2013
Look Dalbey can be a real asshole sometimes but he isn't that bad. The only thing I didn't like about this class is that he treats it as if we were in high school still. For example, there's penalties for being tardy....who does that in college...This class is a whole bunch of busy work as you work on your project with your group that will extend into CPE 309. For our quarter, we were implementing a game so it was at least somewhat interesting. The documents he makes you write as a group are demanding and seem really boring but after I finished this class I could see where these documents might come in handy in the future. There's a shit ton of reading in this class which is stupid because there's almost always a quiz and I just didn't have the time to do the reading all the time. Dalbey is also getting old as he seems to be out of the loop in current day technology. Also, you need to get a C or higher on the final to pass. I had a really chill group so I guess I was lucky as we helped each other pass and get through this class.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
Dalbey is a strange teacher. If you take 308 and 309 with him, I guarantee you that it won't be like any other CSC class that you've taken. It feels like an odd combination of a university course and an actual software development job. He is very hands off, and has easy to follow (though not always easy to find) scheduling and instructions for everything that needs to be done to pass the course. Every assignment is meant to teach you something that you need to know to complete the two-quarter project that each team will be working on. You won't be learning very much as far as new programming topics. 308 and 309 really should be listed as a software engineering class, rather than a computer science one. You'll learn techniques that actual developers use on real-world projects - the kind of projects that can't possibly be completed by a single person (or even a pair), where team communication/coordination, scheduling, design, and testing are all just as important as programming. He's very big on following a structured process. If you put in the work early on in development (requirements documentation, design, and scheduling), the rest of the class will be super easy. If you treat it like a 'sit-down-and-program-until-the-assignment-works' kind of class, you're going to struggle.

CPE 309


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2006
Professor Dalbey presents us an 8-unit course when this is supposed to be a 4-unit course each quarter. In better wrods, we also have other classes and commitments in which he apparantly makes this class "as our life." I have the most difficult time that he sometimes pull his grades out of his butt. For example, if you suck up to him and agree with him - an A is possible. If you don't, you must do an impressive work to get an A. We had two projects for this two quarter course - two teams created the Clue Card Game and the other make a Puzzle Builder. We had fun but no doubt great difficulties. He didn't provide us good guidance and the java files he provides are sometimes "broken." I can't tell you how fustrated I am with him.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
Professor Dalbey is a good professor overall, he really knows his software engineering and this class teaches you the real process of software engineering. He expects ALOT of you in the class so do NOT expect it to be an easy class however if you are willing to put in the effort he will help you! Ensure to utilize his office hours or set up a time with him to meet and he will help you figure out most technical problems. The key to this class is communication! If you talk to the professor frequently individually and as a team this will make your quarter go by MUCH smoother. The majority of your class grade, 40%, is based on the project in which you will spend a lot of time on. This is highly time consuming and at many times feels will never end however is a good experience. During the first part of the quarter he will also expect you to do readings from the book, these should not take more then about 1 hour to complete so they are not to bad. Also there are occasional homework assignments in addition to this. The midterm and final are not to bad, just make sure to pay attention to the lectures, do the readings and look over the reading questions as that is where the majority of the test comes from. The midterm and final are 15 and 25% of your grade. His overall grading is fair although he does not curve. If you have problems with any portion of your grade he is willing to consider changes as long as you have reasons for this, this especially applies to the project grade so ensure to keep good communication with him. Overall a very time consuming class however well worth it. Ensure you do plan sufficient time to dedicate to the class and you will do ok, don't and either this class or other class grades WILL suffer!

CSC 309


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
Please, no matter what you do during your career at Cal Poly, do not take Dalbey for CPE 308 or 309. Just say no. Take it with Fisher or Turner if you can. Switch to CPE or math if you're really hardcore. Don't take Dalbey, or you risk an F or D in one of your other courses due to lack of time. 308 with Dalbey was deceptively easy, but 309 is extremely time-consuming. You'll spend at least 15 hours per week on the course project alone, and Dalbey still wants you to complete homework assignments that take another 5 hours a week to complete. With 15 hours for the project, 5 hours for homework, and a few more hours to review the course material for exam preparation (Cal Poly recommends 25-35 hours to study for *all* of your courses), you have very little time to give the necessary attention needed to succeed in your other courses. Dalbey is the archetypal professor who thinks that his class is your only obligation for the quarter, and feels that spending time on your other obligations is a "lack of commitment to the project." Just say no to taking Dalbey classes.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
I had Dalbey for both 308 and 309. Most of the information he taught us is not relevant in this day and age. Lectures generally consisted of going through the readings again. In 308, each team developed a product using the Waterfall methodology. In 309, we were supposed to take over another team's product and make upgrades to it, once again using Waterfall. Instead, Dalbey took the back end off one team's product and combined it with a GUI he had written, gave the mess to us and said make it work. He makes us follow ridiculous coding standards which often result in worse code just to fit in the standards. He also expects you to have read everything posted on the course wiki and when you present a deliverable will pull some obscure requirement mentioned in one line like 3 or four links off the wiki and use that as an excuse to reject your work. To top it off, he often pulls code from your product and puts it on the midterm or final, usually in the form of: this was done poorly, how would you fix it?


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2012
Seriously? Daily homework, an insanely time-consuming group project, AND random as hell quizzes. The worst is all the requirements he puts on the project. He doesn't understand that, yes, in the real world, maybe these intense requirements are standard or recommended... but NO, us STUDENTS do not have the time to spend the 40 hours a week that people in industry do. We have other classes too! I can't spend all my time working on this ONE class like I did. Jesus Christ! I sacrificed so much time for this damn class


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2012
One of my most favorite professors


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2013
Dalbey is the worst CSC teacher I have ever taken - hands down. Through my years of college, I was convinced that the CSC department has the best of the best... until I met Dalbey. He is very unsupportive of student progress and oftentimes expect you to look on his website for some obscure link telling you what he wants you to do (and he would never mention it to you in class unless it's due and you don't have it done). Then, once you find that link, you find another page telling you otherwise. (Want to try? Go to his class pages and try to find a link telling you to update a progress report. I'll wait here.) He is also very outdated. Since we had to design a video game for him in this 308-309 course, it is natural that a team would want to implement a multiplayer component. This BLEW his mind. Comments such as "who would want that" and "are you serious" soon followed. In addition, he would always harp on how "videogames do not matter" though all of the teams put countless hours on the game for this 4 unit class. BOTTOM LINE. IF YOU CAN AVOID DALBEY, DO IT. RUN FAR FAR AWAY.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2013
First off, yes Dalbey sucks as a teacher. If you read all the ratings below, you can tell no one likes him as a teacher. With that being said, 309 is an important class to pay attention too. There are a lot of topics and processes that are essential to your software engineering career. Now Dalbey doesn't teach them or let us practice these topics in the best way but at least you will have some experience with them once you get into the work force. Bottom line: Important class, shitty teacher.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jul 2013
Dalbey is a special character. On one hand, he was probably my least favorite teacher I've had to deal with at poly thus far. On the other hand I feel like he's also one of the most practical and useful teachers at poly. When I was taking 308/309, I absolutely hated the guy. He was uncooperative, unhelpful, and just an asshat in general. He'll assign useless homework assignments and readings and quiz you on it the next day. It'll also seem like you're not really learning anything because nobody's teaching you to code. Its just a bunch of process and documentation that you're learning. Bottomline, the class sucked. However, after you finish the class and look back at it, you'll be a better and more marketable programmer. Trust me, I started my first internship at a big company right after taking Dalbey's class and I could already tell I was ahead of the curve when it came to working in a company environment. All the processes and all the seemingly pointless documentation you do in that class come back to bite you in the ass. And its at that point when you begin to wonder if Dalbey is actually the most practical teacher you've had at poly. You could take the easy route and take Fisher's 307/308/309 class and not really learn much. Or you could take the brutal and painful route and take Dalbey's class. Looking back, I'm really glad I took Dalbey.

CSC 310


Junior
B
General Ed
Mar 2013
Computers for Poets was pretty interesting and I feel like I learned some useful computer skills. Personally, I didn't find any of the material or labs to be extremely difficult. We did some basic HTML coding, worked with Excel, and did some database stuff. Some people thought it was hard, but it's really just being able to figure out the code for HTML or how to use the applications for spreadsheets and databases. From what I've heard, professor Dalbey was a lot more laid back about this class than he is with the csc major classes he teaches. I got an A on the final, B in the class overall cause I missed a couple assignments. Some test questions were kinda weird, but nothing too bad.

CSC 440


5th Year Senior
C
Elective
Mar 2000
This is all I'm going to say: if a maintenance guy with a gas-powered leaf blower ever shows up dead on campus, I'll know who did it!!

BUS 443


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Nov 2016
Prof cried today.... What a weirdo hahahah get a grip of your life.

CSC 509


Graduate Student
B
Elective
Apr 2012
In my opinion, it is obvious that Prof. Dalbey has spent most of his career in academia. The class was probably more work than I would have liked. There was homework at least twice a week. The thing is...the class was basically taught by the students. He let us each choose two topics to research (about software engineering) and present to the class. However, he did often offer his input. Overall I didn't learn much.