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Most enjoyable CS class ever taken at UCLA. Probably the most useful one as well for those who want to follow a SDE career path in web development, next to Cho's CS144. John is always so clear. He's the kind of person who can always explain concepts in the most optimal way.
I would say some extent of web development experience is preferred though. It will give you a much easier time understanding stuff. You would want to first understand how to build a web app before you think about how to scale them. John will cover some of the basics, but he mainly focuses on the scalability part.
Also, he is from the industry, and he will invite some guest speakers from the industry as well. So, another plus for those who are industry-oriented.
Overall, definitely worth taking! Such a pity that this class probably won't open every quarter, and he probably won't even teach regularly at UCLA.
This class is great! You learn a lot of web dev skills and learn how to load test and solve scalability issues. It's definitely up to you how much work you put into the class; but if you want to try out a bunch of techniques and also generally have a good web app, it does require some grind time, but it's not stressful as long as you don't leave the entire app for the last two weeks and have good partners. The prof also brings in guest lecturers which is really cool. No tests either!
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