WHY DEVELOPERS SHOULD LEARN ETHICAL HACKING

Ethical Hacking is the ability to bypass system security and search for any weak points that could be exploited by malicious hackers. This information is then used by a Developer to improve the system security, in an effort to minimize or eliminate any potential attacks.

Learning how to hack helps developers implement the strongest possible security practices. It’s as much about finding and fixing security vulnerabilities as it is anticipating them. As you learn more about the methods hackers use to infiltrate systems, you’ll be able to preemptively resolve issues; if you don’t understand how black hat hackers could get into your systems, you’re going to have a hard time securing them.

Think of it this way: a computer network is like a yard with a fence to keep people out. If you’ve put something valuable inside the yard, someone may want to hop the fence and steal it. Ethical hacking is like regularly checking for vulnerabilities in and around the fence, so you can reinforce weak areas before anyone tries to get in.

Above everything else, successful ethical hacking requires being a master of problem solving. An understanding of how computer systems and programming languages work is also essential, because if you understand how the system works, it’s easier to think of ways to exploit the system.

For example, a website may use a complicated, sturdy JavaScript-based authentication system to prevent spammers from submitting thousands of bogus support emails. An ethical hacking approach to testing may be attempting to disable the JavaScript language in the web browser (a widely available feature) and submitting a support email while ignoring the authentication process. Unless the programmers have designed the site to ignore non-JavaScript enabled systems, the spam email will bypass security. After identifying the security hole, the programmers can make the necessary adjustments.

According to PC WORLD, hiring managers look for individuals who have ethical hacking experience and/or degrees in information security and information technology, as well as IT certifications. It’s possible to start your career in ethical hacking, or steer your career toward the field as your experience grows. Hack training sites such as hacksite.org can help you sharpen your hacking skills regardless of your experience level.

So, It is important to learn how to build and understand your app runs.

 

My Journey to Moringa School

By Augustine Mulwa, Cohort 7 student

The beginning

They say that the two most important days in a man’s life are the day he is born and the day he realizes why.

Though the former happens by chance, the latter takes sheer will power and verve to actualize. Luck, as many think of it is normally stumbled upon, but in contrast it takes one to be in the right place at the right time to be lucky.

For me that day happened with a wimp of luck and great determination. This great epiphany dawned on me the day a pal of mine told me about Moringa school.

I had always wanted to be an Android developer since Android was first launched in Kenya. With its vast opportunities and the knowledge that I could pursue a venture that not many have been able to conquer and also make cool stuff for the whole world to view. But day by day the dream had started becoming elusive. It was like chasing smoke.

Determination proved a key companion in my endeavor before luck had its way.

That was when my friend told me about Moringa School and the opportunities they provided you to be a world class software engineer. My blood churned and I could barely afford to sleep as I applied and waited for the response to come from the school. Time seemed to slow down and days seemed to drag by. When would the school ever call me? What if they would never call me? Dear Lord, I was always down on my knees pleading with God to give me this opportunity, pleading turned to begging.

Then, and as if by a stroke of magic, the fireworks began. The long awaited call finally arrived and with the good news.

“You have been enlisted for the interview after which you may proceed to join the school.” That was all I heard in all the words that the secretary spoke to me.

Now, the waiting continued once more. It was a matter of days but it all seemed like ages. I wanted to do the interview and get started in my life of coding. That was two months ago. I did the interview, and successfully got enrolled.

The journey

Mind blowing is how I would put it. It started with the sheer intensity of a   boot-camp and the expectation skyrocketed to a new high. Desire was being turned to actualization. Learning was everywhere and things were happening so fast that sleep no longer was a priority. Everyday, for these two months I have been intoxicated with too much knowledge that I thought sanity would evade me.

To keep me in check, I would always confide in my pals in class with those geeky jokes that you get with people who share something in common, but only they understand what they are saying.

Within two months, I have made so many friends and came to the realization that all is possible if mind is set to purpose. Only chains in our minds though invincible, can kill a dream whose time has come.

My Experience at Moringa School

By Alexona Kinuthia, Cohort 7 Student

The obvious downfall of the tertiary education system has given a few people ideas to come up with places such as Moringa School. This is probably the best idea after the glorious maniac who came up with Nutella.

So, what exactly is Moringa School? Moringa School is where ordinary people are turned into world class developers. I bet you have stumbled across this line while looking for a coding school. Well the truth of the matter is, this statement is actually very true.

Many people say that learning to code is hard but when I hear of Moringa what pops up in my head is “Programming Simplified”. Not only do you learn to code but adopt the ability to self learn among other soft skills like how to communicate effectively, build courage and teamwork among others. The curriculum team always ready to give out tons of knowledge on the various programming languages. Apart from being taught how to build incredible stuff, you also get to learn how to build stuff that is useful and that people will love to use.

It is an experience…back to earth, Moringa School is one of the best programming boot camps in the region. Being a current student, my experience could be said to be really interesting. The work and the effort to be put in is massive but high risk, high reward, right?

The experience is just so amazing and the urge to learn more keeps growing and growing. So any developer out there looking for cool programming skills the place to be is Moringa.

As for those of you out there planning on joining the boot-camp here are some few pointers for you:

  • Know yourself, as much as you are a team remember that you are different, some people work better at night others really need that beauty sleep. If you compare yourself to others, you may get discouraged or complacent for there always will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions however silly they may sound.At some point you might feel like you are getting accustomed to the pressure, that is the time to work harder and do more, because once you relax you may never regain the momentum. Trust me, I speak from experience.
  • Lastly, never ever give up and strive to be happy.  

What is Good Design?

By Willard Shikami, Cohort 7 Student

Here is to those who have always seen things differently. Many people for a long time have misunderstood the word design. I have to say it has quite a number of definitions.

Good design personally goes beyond the look of something, a product or a software. It’s the whole thing, how it works, how it feels etc. Obviously how something looks like is the first connection you make with a product or software. Most of the sub-conscious decisions about the nature of something is made by how it looks like. From there you will determine how much you have to pay for it.

The things we make describe us and our values, they describe what we are interested in and our preoccupations. Everything around us speak of who made it and it speaks to whether they were driven by opportunism, price and schedule or whether they were driven by care and trying to design a product/software that would make lives genuinely better. A company or a startup is just a group of people that come together to build a product. The design of the product is a clear way to understand what drives that particular group of people.

I think people deserve the good design from a product or software. You can meet someone completely new and come up with an idea of a product or software in 30 mins. That does not mean that the product has any value and that anyone will be interested in it.

Good design will play a major role in getting people attached to your product. As I work on a project with tremendous dreams for it and deep enthusiasm, I keep thinking of how best I can design it to get to this remarkable route where I visualize it going from a few people viewing it and using it to hundreds of thousands knowing about it and using it at exactly the same time. I try as much as possible to incorporate good design in my projects with an aim to impact and improve lives.

Good design takes time, but all the work will be worthwhile when you look at someone smile while using something you designed and build.

What They Never Tell You About Being a Developer in Kenya

By Rodgers Gitau, Cohort 7 student

Africa’s Tech Industry is raising. We have all heard the numerous CTO’s give talks about how Kenyan Tech industry is the new niche and how Kenyan developers are making waves in the industry. Personally I have always wanted to be a bad-ass, kicking in the door techie who spends hours in the night fueled by caffeine. I would then resurface with an awesome app that would then mint millions into my bitcoin account as I party till the next genius app idea bug bites me. Thanks to binge watching hours of Betas, Silicon Valley, Mr Robot etc I had always figured with enough work hours, I would eventually become a ninja developer(read hacker) whose might can reach Mt. Olympus and back.

When I finally took the plunge and joined Moringa School, I was all psyched up and spread the word around town that I would emerge in 5 months as the next Bill Gates. After about 7 weeks of being in the program, I have learnt a few hard truths about what developing in Kenya is in reality:

Too much Content

Learning to code is hard work. Unfortunately I happen to live in a digital world so searching for help on the internet yields a ton of information. Most of these tutorials are  biased opinions by other developers. Follow some guy’s opinions and you find yourself even more confused.

My advice read the official documentations then learn by building mini-projects. You don’t have to build a billion dollar idea, just build something that works.

Learning by yourself is suicidal

There are no superheroes in the coding community. Individual work is encouraged but working in teams will provide an even better learning environment. I’ve had to appreciate that struggling and dying like a gladiator is foolish. There always people who have been down the same rabbit-hole and finally figured the path to Wonderland. If you don’t want to to get depressed, consider learning how to disappear completely. As it is said, there is nothing as useless as doing so well something that should not be done in the first place.  Ask for help, trust me,it will save you time and brain cells.

Life happens. It goes on no matter what

While locking myself and emerging in 5 months seemed an awesome idea, I’ve been taught the hard way that you cannot live inside a cocoon. The world is as always was; power fails, internet is still expensive, the landlord will break down your door when rent is missing, insecurity is still real. The technology pace at which the world is growing into is outstanding. Space travel is no longer a movie gimmick any more but a definite trip plan. If you are to survive in this passion fueled industry, you cannot isolate yourself without losing interest.

Have Fun, otherwise what is the use?

Believe and Begin

By: Mark Mwaura, Cohort 7 student

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. I have always wanted to find something that I love doing and use it to improve myself and other people.

About four years ago I wanted to know how an ATM bank account system works so I didn’t have a choice but to go to the university and do a course in information technology. During the degree program I always looked for “that thing” which I liked to do in information technology and also fulfill my goals. It was then that I stumbled upon programming during my library sessions in the evening at Strathmore University. I immediately admired the process and the results of creating software. I also did community work during my break periods in university which served as an eye opener on how I could provide solutions and dedicate my life to solving existing challenges using software.

Over the years I trained myself how to write simple programs, but I always longed to know what the standards in developing a career out of software engineering were. Online tutorials helped but not as much especially with aspects such as working in a team, so I continued looking and hoping. I needed some form of mentorship or simply work as a freelance software engineer.

During the New year period I purposed to actively search for jobs, mentorship opportunities and attend all developer conferences available in Nairobi. This helped a lot as I received several internship opportunities and during the Nairobi Tech Week which was held in late April(this year), I became aware of Moringa school (http://moringaschool.com), a top software developer school in Africa.

I did the interview in May and joined Moringa school full time in early July. Since then  a lot has happened. Some myths that I had earlier on software development have been debunked while some of them have been affirmed. Moringa School program has been crazy for me, especially due to the fact that I have health issues.

The program runs during the week Monday to Friday (8am till 8:30pm) at Ngong Lane Plaza on Ngong road. I used to sleep for long 8 to 9 hours but nowadays I only get at most 6 hours of sleep per day.

The course content has been excellent as I now know a lot about front end development, back-end development and android development which I don’t think I would have known had I not come to Moringa School. No university in Kenya or in the region would provide resources to get me to where I am like Moringa school has done.

The experience is rewarding if one is willing to put in much effort to become a world class application developer. Currently am busy working on projects and debugging applications which I will present at the end of the course. I’m glad to engage myself in understanding how to create proper maintainable applications for people and in this way lose myself in serving others which gives me a great sense of fulfillment. Consistency as an individual is key so am watching that to achieve my goals.

Lessons learnt so far include:

1.Never give up. Always continue pushing.

2.A difficult past doesn’t mean your future will be difficult.

3.Destiny demands diligence.(If you need to get somewhere you need to be honest and committed about it always).

4.To make yourself better always keep on learning.

Moringa School: Changes and Looking Forward

August 17, 2016

Over the past few years, Moringa School has grown to become known as the premier developer bootcamp in Africa. We were founded in April 2014 by Frank Tamre and Audrey Cheng with the goal of transforming technical education in Africa. Today, after over 2 years, we are publicly announcing that Frank has decided to transition from the company. Post-Moringa, Frank will be heads down in game development – a passion he has always held – and will take the opportunity to spend more time on spiritual growth and reflection before he decides how he will continue contributing to the tech sector in Kenya.

While this decision may come as a surprise, we – Audrey and Frank – have spent numerous hours chatting together about the future of Moringa since February of this year. We are both wholly invested in the future of Moringa School, but could not come to agreement on the direction we wanted to take the company. As entrepreneurs who are constantly learning, we spent hours reflecting on ourselves and learned an extremely valuable lesson:  that co-foundership is truly like a marriage. And before a marriage, we needed to have certain conversations to ensure that we set expectations for one another before we took the leap of faith. We didn’t have those conversations in the beginning, which is why a year into operations we were stumped when we couldn’t agree on our future.

Frank leaving Moringa School has not been an easy decision for either of us. We both decided that we were not the right co-founder team to lead Moringa School, so we talked about what Moringa School would look like if either of us left the company. In the end, Frank decided to leave Moringa because it seemed to be an opportune time to pursue other passions and Audrey had already built a strong pipeline of partners across Africa for scale. We both put the company and its mission’s interest ahead of our own to make this decision. While the shift has been challenging to us and our team, we are both confident that we made the right decision for the success of Moringa School.

As Moringa School moves forward, we are both incredibly grateful to have learned as much as we did with each other and will continue to support each other in our next steps. In the next week, Audrey will be writing a blog post about the new direction that Moringa School is heading into to scale high-quality, technical education across the continent. This will be one step closer to our goal of transforming higher education and the workforce in Africa.

Moringa School’s co-founders will always be both of us – for without one or the other, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Entrepreneurship is a challenging and exciting journey, and we would love to share our lessons along the way with new or existing entrepreneurs. So please feel free to reach out to either of us! To grow is to succeed, and neither of us can deny how much we’ve grown since we started Moringa School. In Moringa School 2.0, our education is going to become even more high-quality, personalized and matched to the needs of our modern world. We can’t wait to share with you updates along the way.

Sincerely and with love,

Audrey and Frank