The Adventures of a New Developer

By James Muriuki, Moringa Core Student

Oh my goodness! What the heck did I get myself into?”

Its two weeks into Moringa core – a 15 week Intensive to say the least program that is trying to turn me, a complete noob into a software engineer. The Moringa prep starter class held a few weeks back did help, but doesn’t come close to the intensity of what is being covered right now. But where would I be without Moringa?

The Discovery

 Let me tell you a little about myself. Straight out of high school I had no intention of going to university I was hell bent on making it on my own in life. So I went from being a student, to becoming a waiter at a local restaurant, to starting a jam business, to learning Chinese, well only for a month all in a period of 7 months.

Then a high school friend mentioned to me about a tech school called Moringa. I honestly thought it was a tree that had come for career day a year earlier. The program runs for a short period so I thought, wait school for 6 months and you get the actual skills that are in demand sounded too good to be true. So for the next one week straight since I was broke and had nothing, and I mean nothing going on with my life, I went on a research spree from talking to guys on social media to reading all about this mysterious school. And I found everything to be true. I went to the website applied did my interview and I was in.

Moringa Prep

The first day of Moringa Prep was…umm… different. This was no ordinary school. There are no lecturers, no textbooks no boring classes. The content is provided beforehand and we are supposed to work on it in groups. We were immediately hit with new content and for some strange reason we understood it and day after day the content was retained in our heads. For those who didn’t understand anything there was always a technical mentor in the room. Moringa became my home. And apart from the learning I got to meet amazing people from very different backgrounds and I got the strongest support system ever. Bi-weekly talks, occasional events and most importantly Yoga provides a nice change in environment to help you relax.

Moringa core

 The learning curve is steep. You will doubt yourself the whole time the way I am right now but the secret is not doubting yourself, it is finding a way to work through the doubt. To finding that inner drive that can make you succeed. I have a very long road ahead of me. But it’s an adventure all new developers have to take. Through my friends including the technical mentors, who are probably the most awesome people I have ever met, the road gets easier, the workload becomes a bit bearable and even if I get to the brink of quitting I know I will stay just one more day.

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Moringa Chronicles

By Ruth Gitau, Moringa Core Student

#Episode 1, Believe in Yourself

It was early Wednesday morning, only two weeks into the program when I dashed to the washroom, looked at my reflection in the mirror and asked myself, “what am I doing here? Have I made a mistake? Do I deserve to be here, do I really have what it takes?”

We highlight and celebrate peoples’ success without understanding the process they went through to reach their pinnacle of success. We turn a blind eye to the pain of it all.

Doubts, fears and feelings of unworthiness are some emotions we face at some point in life. Scratch that. We face these emotions when we are doing things outside our comfort zones. Mine came within the first two weeks of Moringa. You know that feeling all too well. One minute you’re high and the next you’re low.

Welcome to the life of an amateur programmer. You get fascinated at how things have been built. You get a high from creating your own stuff. You own your work and take pride in it. Yet there’s the other side of it all where you code and get so many errors while coding to the point you enter the button with bated breathe. Yet, the red errors still appear in your console. Fret not, that’s normal and it’s the one thing every new programmer should be told. It’s normal to get errors in your code. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your coding skills won’t either. It takes time, practice and commitment. And it’ll get better. It always does.

Sometimes, it’ll get rough. Really rough. The kind of rough where you want to throw in the towel. But it’s in these moments that you have to remind yourself of a couple of things:

  • why you love to code. This is your fuel.
  • It’s okay to feel melancholic, acknowledge the emotions and continue on with your journey,
  • stick with your dream, persevere and hang onto that thread and when you get to that point where you can’t hold on anymore,
  • have people you can lean back on. People who fight for you and your dreams when you don’t want to.

Humans learn the most valuable lessons at the face of adversity. So take it all in stride. Trust the process. Believe in yourself. Believe you can do it.

And remember, there’s always a silver lining. A light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps, hanging by the thread will lead you to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.