Moringa Experience

class JustusKyalo {
public static void main(String[] args){
System.out.println(Hi, am Justus. I do not love star trek);

By Justus Mbaluka, Moringa School Student

See, I love technology. I love those conveniences technology brings to the table, especially in this rising “Internet of things” trend. Shopping at the comfort of my bed by a click of a button (for those us whom shopping is not a hobby at all), getting sukuma wiki prices by sending a text message, paying my landlord via Mpesa and not to leave out that most wonderful product Mshwari (the brains behind this innovation should get a Nobel prize) and the list is endless.

Amongst all these developments, the biggest advancement in tech, in my opinion, has been in the merging of the big data sector and the business world. Business development has taken on a new dimension. Most of the middle level business decisions are now being left at the hands of complex algorithms running somewhere up in the cloud as business owners sit somewhere under a palm tree sipping mojitos and margaritas.

Anyway, that is topic for another day. I joined Moringa School to learn coding and explore my deep love for designing data products. Their curriculum and mode of modelling developers was exactly the kind of partnership I was looking for. Right now, naah!…things are going sideways. Code-academy forgot to tell me that real program features do not come by following a ‘click-and-see what happens’ tutorials. Learning to code isn’t a walk in the park.

You will meet lines of code that look greek-ish to you. Others looking like those characters you get after opening a 2003 doc file on a 2013 software- terrible. Finally, you successfully write that line of code which looks so amazing, showing no errors and then, …click “Run”. Oops, not working. That is the moment you feel like throwing your laptop through the window but then, it’s never that serious.

To top it up, you are now socially heated up with someone somewhere being really mad at you for cancelling that date over the weekend (Frank, you gonna pay for this). Yeah, it’s the first Saturday and you have to come for classes to deal with those daunting lines of code you have been working on over the week. It has to be done by all means possible as the drive and desire to get your first program up and running is so great that getting a 5 hr sleep feels like eternity and wrong. Despite all that effort, you are still free-falling in this code world with every line of code you write feeling like “oh-my, what did I get myself into!!”.

Then Monday comes. It’s the beginning of the second week in this boot camp. Frank is here with one task up his sleeves. “Build this website in 2 hrs”. That’s how self-assessments are done here. 2 ½ hrs down the line and I look at what I have done, and am very happy. A fully responsive site with a header written as Gnome displays there on the screen. That same type of site that took me over 3 days to build with the help of YouTube is now a less than 3-hr task. Those Greek looking Java syntaxes I got introduced to last week are now helping me write simple programs like exam grading and shopping carts. Ruby language is helping me solve toy problems like knowing the exact date when I will be celebrating my 1 gigasecond-th anniversary.

2 weeks are now gone and I have successfully built my first simple android App. With this learning curve here at Moringa School and the new working culture (fast-paced), my expectations have been exceeded. I am left with imaginations of my programming capabilities at the end of the 12 weeks which I look forward to.

My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims in the Garissa massacre. We are with you in prayers during this tough times. Take heart.


Check out our progress in Moringa here or follow me at twitter.


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