Meta Tags

by Chris Standa, Moringa School Student HTML meta tags are used to provide search engines with additional information about HTML documents. These include name of the author, a short description about the HTML document, keywords. In other words, meta tags provide information about the data found on your HTML documents. The metadata is very important […]

Work hard. Be inquisitive. Relish failure. Don’t give up.

by Keval Shah, Moringa School Student

A lot of the blogs you read on coding bootcamps has vastly been about what students learned and how they felt about it. I thought I would change that in my blog and let it be something more inspirational and food for thought.

As I’ve been studying and working the last 7 years in the United Kingdom, the first thing that struck me about Moringa School was the culture. I always tend to pay close attention to the culture wherever I go. The aura in our teaching room/board room/Friday Pizza & Talk room is relaxed, informal and open plan. Remember there’s a lot of hard work being done within those walls!

During the first week of the course, one of the biggest learning’s from the week is “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” (Yup I stole it from the Moringa School Facebook Page, but completely resonate with it.) Today was the start of a journey. An intensely challenging, yet (hopefully) hopefully deeply satisfying journey!

I constantly hear the teachers and other students telling you to put in the hours and don’t give up. This means that your learning curve should be exponential, and you will realize that most motivational talks you hear today are geared to get us in that frame of mind – To push yourself to the limit. To work, breathe, and live outside of your comfort zone. Learning from the teachers in Moringa School made me realize that they are more like gurus – they guide you rather than spoon-feed. This makes us more adaptable to the real world out there.

In the coding world we have to realize that we shall intentionally fail to hit goals, which in turn is a very effective tool. You fail, you learn why and you move on. This will help you to be curious. Curiosity will drive you, if you want to see if something works just give it a try – your laptop isn’t going to explode! Over the past weeks I have realized that learning to code isn’t necessarily to memorize commands, but more about understanding what you are doing and how different parts piece together.

To me Moringa School is a way of life. Throughout the course, you will hear every teacher saying you need to get used to the new way of thinking. It’s all-logical; to coders, but it’s not necessarily going to be obvious to someone who has never come across code before. Once you think in a particular way, (the developer thinking mindset) it will stick, things should become clearer, and you should have the ability to learn different languages, frameworks, and much more at a quicker pace and hopefully with relative ease.

Try and compound this with curiosity, you will be left with a self-sustaining learning loop that progresses faster each time through more advanced material. Your passion for learning continues with you for the rest of your life. With all said and done, you can tell the teachers really want you to succeed. They’re passionate about what they’re doing and it’s not just another paid course where they couldn’t care less. Its genuine, and having someone invested in you and your journey is a great feeling.

Work hard, Be inquisitive, Relish failure, Don’t give up.

(Check out Keval’s personal website here.)

Moringa School Journey

By Dhruti Shah, Moringa School Student

I moved back to Kenya in August 2014 after studying and working in Canada for 6 years. I moved back to Kenya because I have always dreamt about being an entrepreneur in Kenya and I felt like it was time to move back and make a difference.

Before I moved to Kenya, I already had a few ideas in my mind. However, they were all web/app based ideas, and I had no background in web/app development. I started looking for web/app dev classes/colleges. While I was doing my research, I came across an ad for Moringa School. Moringa School is a 12 week boot camp for Mobile and Web development. I was very impressed by the program outline and so I decided to apply.

The application process was a tough process but quite enlightening. First, we met with, Frank Tamre, one of the founders of Moringa School to learn more about what Moringa School was all about. Once I confirmed that I was still interested in joining the school, I was given a coding challenge to complete. It was a coding challenge in Java. I had no experience coding in Java, however, Frank directed me to some online resources so that I can complete the coding challenge. It took me around a week to study/complete the coding challenge and hand it in to Frank. I was then called to meet with Frank again to review my coding challenge (Frank wanted to know my thought process behind my answers for the challenge). During the meeting Frank challenged me to make sure I was ready to handle Moringa School. It was a fun process.

In this blog I am going to be sharing my weekly experiences at Moringa School.

Week 1

I started Moringa School on Monday 12th January 2015. Our class consists of 5 students from different education and ethnic backgrounds, 7 teacher, 2 of which are from Hack Reactor in the US. We started the boot camp by learning the fundamentals of HTML/CSS. It was quite a tough week. Intense classes followed by lots of homework and lack of sleep. However, the instructors are amazing/funny/friendly, making learning fun and interesting. By the end of Week 1, I was able to successfully make a basic website.

(Check out Dhruti’s personal website here.)

Beginnings of a 12-Week Sprint

By Wilhelm Uschtrin, Moringa School Student

Moringa School. It’s the morning of the Friday of our second week. First on today’s agenda is a feedback session, where we talk to Audrey about this week and how we experienced it. It’s great that we can give feedback so openly and that the staff shapes and changes the content, sessions and general experience accordingly. Other topics for today include deploying our personal websites, reviewing the Mars Rover challenge (Ruby) that is due for today (which is REALLY challenging) and learning about more advanced concepts of Ruby.

It is quite amazing how far we’ve come in these two weeks. A short recap:

Monday last week was just organizational stuff, setting goals, talking about expectations and getting to know each other. No content on Monday yet.

Tuesday to Wednesday we blasted through HTML, CSS & Bootstrap, started building our personal website, learned about Git and GitHub (they’re not the same, believe it or not) and the Terminal. We installed a battery of tools including Sublime, Git, Z-Shell, Ruby, AndroidStudio (for Java later), and Thursday got an introduction to UX and UI. We already had guest speakers last Friday from SkylineDesign, one of the most progressive web design companies in Kenya, talking about the state of (web-) design and website development in Kenya.

This week we sprinted through the basics of Ruby, were already required to use Git and the Terminal on a daily basis, dived deeper into UX and UI. Later today we will be listening to guest speakers from DumaWorks, who do ‘recruiting-as-a-service’, if I may call it that way. I already checked them out a couple of weeks ago and thought that later on hiring through them would make that process a breeze.

For the educationally inclined: the teaching methods consist of question-oriented and participative input-sessions, coding-challenges, assignments for home and online-courses on various websites.

So yeah – Moringa School makes us go fast. It’s only the end of the second week and I can already see the pieces coming together. I am VERY excited to see where we will be after another two weeks and at the end of our 12 weeks.

For now I have to get back to my code tough, my mars rovers are still acting up a little bit.

Later.

(Check out Will’s personal website here.)

I Want to be a Programmer

By Diana Wanjuhi, Moringa School Student

Dear Boss,

Being a programmer is a glamorous thing. Programmers build systems. Programmers solve problems. They gave the world Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and so much more. There have been movies made about how the geeks shall inherit the earth.

So you want to be a programmer? Ask yourself why. Do you love creating? Does the elegance of a well-written line of code make you smile? Do you regularly debate the advantages of Rails over PHP? Are you willing to spend long hours looking at your screen trying to figure out why your program does not work, only to realise it was a misplaced comma? You are? Good. Just like learning to ride a bicycle, or play the piano, you need to practice consistently to be halfway decent at your craft. You will fail many times. During these moments, remember why you wanted to be a programmer: to solve problems and build beautiful things.

As gloomy as that sounds, I remain optimistic. Technology pervades everything today. From transportation to healthcare to energy, programming is making the world a better place. Programmers are modern-day superheroes. We run the world. That comes with a great responsibility not to be evil.

Bearing all this in mind, I applied to Moringa School. I am learning Ruby, HTML and CSS. I have gone from zero to building a website. It has been two weeks of being challenged and getting better. I have met amazing people from all over Kenya and the world. Now, I no longer want to be a programmer.

I am a programmer.