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.
MS: Tell us about your path to Moringa School
Funny you should ask… Ever since I left high school a larger portion of my business ideas or solutions were based on tech. Without the skills for bringing them to fruition, frustration kicked in and all I could do was write them down as I wait for a future case scenario where I could use them. Then one day my sister and I got to talking about tech schools in Kenya and she mentioned about Moringa School and Junior Moringa School which I applied and was successfully selected.
MS: Why Moringa School?
Moringa School is not your conventional type of school. How and what they teach is carefully thought out and well-instructed. And since I was in search for a unique all rounded programming school i’d say I found my match.
MS: What are you looking to achieve at the end of the program?
I’d like to be in a position to actively participate in the technology community both locally and globally by building cool stuff that makes a difference. And oh yeah, be a world-class developer who doesn’t settle for mediocre work.
MS: Tell us about a typical day at Moringa School
No day is the same but in general:
- Class starts at 8:30am but I arrive at around 6:30am to get an early start on the day. We begin with coding challenges mostly in Python and Java. These are known as “toy problems”, they are meant to stimulate and improve our problem solving abilities. These usually take about 25 – 30 minutes followed by us actually doing them together as a class on a whiteboard. This is when we get to see different methods and unique steps used in solving the same problems.
- At around 9:30am we break for tea or coffee provided by Nairobi StartUp Garage “88mph”. I guess this where I should mention that we are given unlimited Mandazis on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to go with the tea:).
- Break ends at 10am with the start of the day’s lesson. This is usually a mix of theory and lots of practicals. This is a programming school so we write code as we talk about it, basically the time spent talking about code we quadruple that when programing.
- This part I never got to understand till one day when they forgot to do it. At 1 pm we are literally forced out of the building to go for lunch, take a walk or just do something other than sitting in front of a laptop. You can easily opt not to go for lunch especially when plugged into your current project.
- Class continues at 2 pm with a mix of coding and lessons. This is the time where we usually consult each other on the day’s errors, challenges and things not understood. At this point I must say that GOOGLE IS YOUR GREATEST ASSET when you run into errors you either ask your classmates or google it.
- UX/UI, taught on Thursdays the whole day, we get to indulge in user design principles, research, organisation of user research data, and what we want the user to experience when using our creation. In the afternoons we have guest speakers who come and talk to us about various industry activities.
- The most interesting thing about thursday is when at around 4 pm we sit in a corner, usually at the back of the class and get to play games, make fun of each other, and share our highlights and lowlights of the week. Which is more or less sharing our feelings during tap outs… and yes I said it, we share our feelings.
- Lessons end at 5 pm but we get to work on our own projects or class work till 8:30 pm the official time to leave school.
MS: Is there anything you’d like to build at the end of your time at Moringa School?
Definitely, I have ideas that have bugged for long but what stand out is an open source National and county data exchange portal where people get to view the current state of affairs of their nation and counties budget, political leadership, laws, and utilization of natural resources.
MS: What’s the most fun thing that has happened to you at Moringa School so far?
Our first all night hackathon as a class was really interesting, we organised it together and competed against each in teams of two. I learnt a lot from my teammate and that’s when it hit me that the greatest thing in life is to be humble enough to learn from others. Plus on that day I slept on a bean bag, it still amazes me on how I could fit on such a small thing.
MS: What would you tell anyone looking to apply at Moringa School?
You need to have the drive and passion to make it through 18 – 20 hrs of coding and less than 5 hours of sleep in a day. Don’t worry friends and classmates will encourage you to go on. But If you still need convincing to join Moringa School then this is not the place for you.
MS: Parting shots:
Know thyself ~ This can only be done by pushing your limits and targets while living a healthy and balanced life.
No man has ever woken up early for 365 days in a year and failed to make his family rich ~ Chinese proverbs.
HAPPY CODING MY PEOPLE, HAPPY CODING.