A Story of Katas and Cuts .

by Osuka Andala.

If you are familiar with Codewars, then you definitely know what a Kata is and how it works. But for explanation’s sake, a Kata is a custom test framework developed by codewars for each language that it supports. You are given a code problem that you have to figure out, solve and run through a bunch of tests. You are allowed to run the tests over and over for each time you don’t get everything right. Best part is, you get a chance to compare your answer with those of other coders and up-vote each other for the ones you thought were very clever. So basically a Facebook invented by nerds for nerds.

A little while back I went on a Javasriptathon -Yes, that is a word. The dictionary just doesn’t know it yet. Our awesome instructor Andrew introduced us to codewars and we did Katas almost every morning. On our own at first, then we solve it together before the day came to an end.
To be honest, I never got a Kata right while tackling it on my own. I may have thought for minutes on end, write code after code, run a hundred tests, but damn that persistent red bordered box. “Incorrect!” “Try again!” “Wrong Answer!”
I mean come on!! Be nice!!

I found myself letting my monkey win (see here) and just waiting for Andrew’s voice, “Time’s up!” This is not a good trait at all, it’s a bad one and I am working on fixing that. I consulted with my classmates, but a lot of the time everyone took a different approach to the problem and I found myself learning new things. It’s like a journey from Nairobi to Mombasa with some people taking a flight, some the bus and others-like me- are probably cycling. Sometimes we are in the same boat,The S.S Confusion..Cuts and bruises yoh!

At the end of the day when the master, Andrew, sat down and solved the Kata with us. I was always left thinking,”Man! I knew that.”
One more Honor. Just an 8955 more to get past the leader. More cuts and bruises!

Moral of the story, Trust yourself! You Still have no idea what you are capable of.

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LIFE IN A DAY AT MORINGA SCHOOL WITH PETER MUTURI

Introduction

As part of our “Life in a day series” we are highlighting the life at Moringa School through the eyes applicants who successfully joined us. We are excited to let you know what happens in the everyday life of complete beginners on their journey to becoming world class developers.

If you are interested in becoming a world class software developer, email us at admissions@moringaschool.com to learn more.

MS: Tell us about your path to Moringa School

PM: Well, I hadn’t really pictured my journey in Moringa School to be quite adventurous as it has been, for the past nine weeks and counting, it’s been quite intense. As much as I’ve really grown in coding and UX, well I have lost quite a lot of friends”Chat buddies”. (Haha! It was bound to happen, but I saw it coming). I came to find out I’m passionate about front­end design ever since I found out about codrops.com and the amazing things that people built. I use it like a CCS library to implement stuff on a website, more of like androidarsenals.com but in this case its websites, not android applications. I have come to enjoy being corrected and also criticized when I create something and ask random people how they find it. It’s really helpful to find out people’s views when working in teams. So, yeah, I’m good in team work, especially when implementing active listening. It’s all about being open-minded and getting ready to learn a lot.

MS: Why Moringa School?

PM: At first, it was all about acquiring the skills and getting my mind ready to be a software engineer. Well now, I already am a software engineer. So it has been a gateway to fulfilling my cherished dreams. I am passionate about what I do and I’m glad to have made tones of errors in school and finding my way out of it, whether it’s a bug in a code or a concept I don’t understand. That way, I am able to get better as time passes. My goal is to learn as much as I can from my mistakes.

MS: What are you looking to achieve at the end of the program?

PM: I’m looking forward to be becoming a world-class software engineer at the end of this program. I’m glad I’ve learned “how to Google”. Seems dumb to say that but I actually don’t use the Google search engine as I used to on my first day. Looking back, I was quite a rookie, not saying I’m an expert now but I have really grown. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more from my cohort buddies and Moringa School.

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MS: Tell us about a typical day at Moringa School

PM: Well, before Moringa School, I had this statuesque that every single day should be unique. That I should not have the same activities running in my life every single day. I like being exquisite. Well it’s not like I broke that statuesque, there should not be a single day that I should leave school just as I came early in the morning. The activities are usually almost similar on a typical day at school, but what I gain and keep record of is usually different every day. It’s what helps me grow and I love it.

MS: Is there anything you’d like to build at the end of your time at Moringa School?

PM: Haha, tricky question. The more days are passing by, the more I want to build much more things at the end of Moringa School. But the core thing is my final project which is an application that will help people around the globe to keep up with the latest fashion in different parts of the world.

MS: What’s the most fun thing that has happened to you at Moringa so far?

PM: I love the fortnight Friday parties and the cool things I build at the end of every language. The most fun thing so far though is when I got to build a whole website in less than 20 minutes and had implemented materialize. I felt like quite a guru 🙂

MS: What would you tell anyone looking to apply at Moringa School?

PM: I’d tell them to just hit the jackpot of a world-class coding boot camp. Be ready to learn and be corrected. Expect to learn a lot and have fun learning them. 🙂

Be part of Moringa School’s 4th class of 2015!

Moringa School’s 16 week program is an opportunity for anyone interested in a software engineering career to get the right start. We provide an opportunity for students to learn from instructors at the top of their field, meet and engage with industry experts and work on exciting projects from both local and international companies.

From our 1st class in January this year to our currently ongoing 3rd class, we’ve had amazing life changing stories. From high school graduates pursuing their dream careers before joining college to college students taking time off school, after seeing the impact Moringa School can have on their careers.

It’s been a fun ride we’ve received some amazing feedback through the “Life in a day” blog series where students get to talk about their experiences, and we aim to have many more such moments in the coming classes.

Life at Moringa

Turning complete beginners into junior mobile and web software engineers in 16 weeks can be quite intense and but also lots of fun. To ensure students have an amazing experience, Mugethi Gitau – Moringa’s Community Manager plans some of the most fun activities, such as #funfriday every 2 weeks where students hang out together and let loose over their favorite drink and pizza, and get to know each other thanks to games like piktochart and charades!

This is just one of the many activities our students get to be a part of. The goal is to let them and others know that, learning is and should be fun and building lifelong relationships is one of the most important things you can do in life.

Want to join the fun? This is a chance for you to be a part of history by joining Moringa School’s 4th class that starts on September 7th.

Visit our website today and apply! Don’t worry about lack of any prior coding experience, you could be exactly what we are looking for.

Email admissions@moringaschool.com for any questions, check out our blog for more information and please watch this video and stay inspired!

Moringa School’s HTML & CSS workshop

Have you ever dreamed of building your own website but don’t know where to start? Come to Moringa School’s workshop and we’ll teach you how! We’ll take you from the very basics to more advanced concepts, covering the basics of everything you need to know about building your own website.  

What you need for the workshop:  

  • Bring your computer.  
  • Download Brackets (http://brackets.io/)  
  • A learning mind and a positive attitude!  

Event details:  

  • Where: Nairobi Garage, Piedmont Plaza, 4th Floor, Ngong Rd.  
  • When: Saturday 26th September 2015  Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM  
  • Cost: KES 500 (Payable via Lipa na M PESA Till Number – 763461)  
  • Call us on 0711 581484 or email us at contact@moringaschool.com with any questions  

HTML & CSS

Sign up for the workshop here. See you there!

Refreshments will be provided to keep the momentum going!

CARE FOR YOUR CRAFT

Have you ever met a Software(s) Developer who promised Heaven and delivered hell? Or are you one of those Software Developers who over promise and under deliver? I recently went to a workshop that was held at ihub UX lab and got a few tips on how to mind your craft so that as a team of Developers you can be able to deliver something that the client will be happy with. “Give your value get your money”. Most times we do it vise versa.

We were given a case study of a Consulting start-up that was started by two best friends, Francis and Livingstone. At its initial stage, they were doing so well and grew at a very first rate but at the end of the third year they started experiencing critical problems.

They were

  • Constantly having to apologize to clients because of missed deadlines. Remember “Don’t over promise then under deliver”.
  • Unable to deliver the projects on time.
  • Unable to leverage all employees effectively, specifically overlap of roles,constant claim of “That’s not my job”
  • Constantly having to apologies to clients because the applications they built were heavy and slow
  • Constantly having to do a lot more work than what they agreed on in the contract, without an increase in the budget.
  • Their final straw came when 2 of the companies that had contracted them cancelled their contracts simultaneously and a 3rd was also on the verge of doing the same

If you can identify with the above problems, take a deep sigh because Haraka consolatancy realized the problems they had and came up with solutions that helped their company pick up again. The problem that Livingstone through the help of Jane who was an intern but had interned with a fairly successful software company before joining them were

  1. While being innovative, completed projects without a roadmap or a project plan and lacked a disciplined approach to project management.
  2. Francis and Livingstone did not use any project software for scheduling and they did not use tools or techniques to estimate, budget or to communicate with stakeholders.
  3. Their development process was haphazard.
  4. There were no tools for version control, no frameworks, no sort of standards for software development within the organization.
  5. They had no process in place to manage project risks and quality.

The solution to the problems were:-

  1. Livingstone offered Jane a position of a PM on a full-time basis to help manage their current  crisis which she accepted. Jane is an excellent communicator with very good interpersonal skills and detail oriented. I found this to be the qualities of a good PM.
  2. Jane introduced formal project management processes, created a PM manual and trained the employees to get the work done well
  3. Came up with guidelines on how development should be done and the quality of code .

The result of these

  • Within 9 months Jane had turned things around. Due to proactive risk analysis and risk response planning, surprises and issues reduced
  • Communication with stakeholders was enhanced
  • Projects were being delivered on schedule
  • Quality process worked and customers were happy!

The Key take away for me were

  1. Economics doesn’t exceed productivity. Take what you can handle. It’s good to say Yes or No to projects.
  2. In a team there should be role differentiation and how the roles play with each other in the organization as a whole.
  3. Empathy is Key. Sometimes in a team one need to fit into the role of another person to be able to deliver quality and on time.We need to know that we rely on each other for the company to succeed. It is also good for one to stretch themselves in order to be world class developers
  4. System structure and processes is important when starting a business. This ensures one is consistent
  5. Knowing the strengths and the weakness of the team is key. In this comes group dynamics. Despite the differences in a team, the most important thing is, work with those you are friends with.
  6. Software needs continuous integration.
  7. Building timelines need one to know in and out of the system methodology the company is using

Moringa School and Seven Seas Technologies Ltd new partnership!

Today we’d like to announce a new partnership between Moringa School and the “Knowledge for Life” program by Seven Seas Technology. A new partnership aimed at providing Moringa School’s students – both current & alumni – more and new opportunities to better their skills, grow professionally and enhance their career paths by learning from one of the top technology companies in Africa.

The Knowledge for Life program, dubbed ‘K4Life’, is a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative aimed at bridging the gap between the National University ICT curriculum and industry needs at entry level, with the ultimate aim of accelerating students’ career development.

Through this partnership, Moringa School students get a chance to go through the K4Life program for free, providing them with a chance to increase and enhance their skills, and provide them with a much larger pool of organizations that could in turn be potential employers with amazing career paths.

knowledge-for-life

We are always committed to our students and we want to ensure they become the best in the market by having them not only learn from Moringa School top instructors, but also industry leading organizations and individuals through partnerships.

Learn more about the K4Life program.

Be part of the next Moringa School full time class by emailing us today at admissions@moringaschool.com and get your career off to a great start.

Asking the right questions

I came to Moringa School having this idea about everything and how it works. I would not get myself to research and really understand most of the things I was curious about.

Day one of class and the person who is supposed to guide you tells you it is okay to drown and you think they are just trying to be funny. Moringa School lets you learn in a really unique way. You start to phrase your questions in a different way. You start to love the idea of making mistakes because now you can check off one wrong way of getting the desired results.

Questions post

It’s about spending each moment making yourself a better person and pushing yourself past the limits so that you can add value to the society as an individual.

Everything has a solution, it’s all up to you to ask the right questions because the answer lies within.