The SOLID software design principles weren't called SOLID while I was in grad school, but the concepts were there in my Object Oriented Design course. They're worth mentioning here, primarily because I think once you start coding and become dangerous, it's one of the best ways to stay organized once you incorporate it into your daily coding routines, and it even changes your way of thinking for the better:
I had a lot of data in a MySQL database that I wanted to analyze. I had a copy of Matlab, so I figured the best way to look at this all would be to plot this data and use some GUI elements to go through various combinations. After some Googling, I found this database connector that seemed to do the trick. I downloaded the files, configured mex to use MSVC 2008, built the connector, then I was able to successfully connect over the network! I ran into two problems, though: The connector does not support fetching columns of type TIMESTAMP, and With the magnitude of data (about 180k rows), access times were really slow. I was able to solve problem #1 by changing my columns to DATETIME, which was supported. I'm still trying to figure out problem #2. It may come down to importing all the data directly into Matlab.