10 down, 2 to go… and then what?

By Wilhelm Uschtrin, Moringa School Student

So this marks the end for of the classroom setting for us at Moringa School. It’s been 10 weeks of intensity, and now we have 2 more weeks to go. For the next 2 weeks we’ll be embedded in actual companies. Diana and me will be visiting Maramoja and Dhruti and Keval are going to stay with Caytree.

So how was it? Well, the other day my girlfriend was like ‘What? It’s already over?’, but to me it doesn’t feel like that at all. Somehow it feels like an eternity since we’ve started this journey! Sure, I can still remember the first week pretty vividly, but especially the weeks in the middle are just a blur of learning and coding. To be honest, we almost lived at Moringa School for the last 2 and a half months. Every day I got up as early as 5 o clock, drove to the Startup Garage, and left in the evening, often at around 9 or 10pm, and in between: sessions and coding. It’s been challenging, for sure. But that’s what made it awesome.

For me, the last couple of day already were a bit like a harvesting of the fruits of that labor. On Thursday Diana and me presented our final project at the Nairuby meetup and on Friday we again presented it to some guests at Moringa School. Everyone seemed very impressed with what we had created in the last 2 weeks. The general opinion was that it’s amazing of how far you can get in only 10 weeks. And I have to smile myself, when I think of my first attendance of the Nairuby meeting in December, when I had to admit that I had never written a single line of Ruby.

Our final project is a RSS Aggregator that automatically fetches entries from RSS feeds, it features an API, a background worker, full-text search via Elasticsearch, automatic posting to a Twitter account, user login, and a bookmarking system. The tech stack is Rails/MaterializeCSS/PostgreSQL/Redis. We actually want to deploy and maintain it and make it aggregate posts from the best blogs covering the Nairobi tech ecosystem. But it is also on Github and we want to invite anyone to fork it and contribute, be it to the Rails app, or with a neat JS front-end or a mobile app built on top of the API. Of course anyone can also just clone it and make it about something completely different: dinosaurs, music or whatever else you fancy.

Now, today I went to the revived JS meet-up at iHub to see what they’re meet-ups are like. And it was amazing, although I have never written a single line of JavaScript, I was able to follow along quite comfortably. Every concept that was talked about I was familiar with: splitting applications according to MVC, version control via Git, deployment via the CLI, task automation, and CSS/HTML and basic programming stuff like methods, variables and conditionals anyways. Heck, I think I am going to have a blast learning JS next!

Apparently next week the next cohort is already starting, this time it’s 11 students. Guys and gals, if anyone of you is reading this: you’re in for a tough ride, but be sure to enjoy every bit of it! Me, I am not sure where this coding journey is going. The business that was the reason I joined MS is waiting, but I will be more on the business side of it. On the other hand I already collected enough learning resources to continue this journey full-time for at least another 6 months. We’ll see. First things first: Maramoja.

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