What Moringa School Taught Me That Campus Did Not

By Agnes Wahu

5 years ago, most practicing software engineers were either self-taught or graduates with computer science degrees. With the emergence of coding bootcamps, it’s even easier to get into a career in programming since the pathways have expanded significantly.

 

Conventionally, coding bootcamps have been considered a gateway to a career in programming for people who do not have any programming experience. However, at Moringa School, some of students had already earned an undergraduate degree or were in the process of completing one when they decided to attend Moringa. We caught up with some of our students to dive into why they chose to go to Moringa School after going to campus and how it heightened their software development skillset. Here are our findings from our current Moringa Core students:

 

What is the difference between campus and Moringa School?

“Most people in campus are stuck doing something that they are not passionate about. It is different in Moringa School where people are really passionate about what they are doing,” says Ahmed Ali, a Civil Engineering graduate from Changan University in China. Ahmed did not take long to realise that he was more passionate about tech than he was with civil engineering. He did his undergraduate studies and started his research on coding bootcamps when he was told about Moringa School being the best coding bootcamp in East Africa by a friend. He made his application and was accepted into the school. “It feels like I am finally doing what I like. I would not have done so well as a civil engineer because it is technology that I am more passionate about and the experience so far is totally worth it,” he says.

 

Latasha on the other hand dropped out of the first year of Jomo Kenyatta University, doing a computer science degree because she was not happy with what she was learning. “People are interested in programming because they want to build things. With a computer science degree, you spend four years not building things, so a computer science degree alone does not teach you what you need to be a programmer,” she says. She plans on using her developing skillset to find employment post-Moringa.

 

Practical application cements your understanding of fundamental concepts

The practical application of Moringa School brings to life the theory that campus curriculum often focuses on. Campus curriculum is heavy on theory, but not practical application. “With a computer science degree, you have a lot of the knowledge but you’ve probably never used them in a way that’s applicable,” explains Latasha. “You haven’t engaged with projects that implement that knowledge in a way that’s relevant to any software engineering job.” Layering the practical experience of coding challenges and building web and mobile apps on top of the theoretical context creates a more well-rounded programmer, equally proficient in the theory and reality of building web apps.

 

Moringa School helps you build a relevant, active code portfolio

Aside from mastering concepts, Moringa School emphasizes the importance for each student to have a strong portfolio by the time they leave Moringa. “In Moringa School, I have written more code in two months than I wrote in my one year of undergrad,” says Latasha. “We did not build portfolios in campus. We used to do term papers and then that was it.” All the students interviewed mentioned a need to study job-relevant coding languages, such as JavaScript, as the reason for attending Moringa School.

 

Peer learning boosts learning ability

Most students listed the collaborative learning environment as a major advantage for attending Moringa School. “I learn a lot better when I’m around people with the same motivation.” says Mujahid an Entomology graduate from Jamiah University in Zambia. “You don’t really understand something until you can explain it to someone else,” he says. “Moringa School has made me a better teacher and learner.”

 

Benefits of working in groups

In the job market, one’s ability to communicate well and teamwork is as important as the technical acumen. Through interactions with technical mentors and peers, pair programming and group projects, students experience a simulated workplace, where they strengthen teamwork skills and learn how to work successfully with others. “I have learnt so much by working with instructors and my fellow students through their diverse backgrounds and creativity.” says Ahmed. “Moringa School has given me more confidence in myself. You learn so much more than you thought possible in such a short amount of time,” he continues. “Working with other people has helped me open my mind to other people’s thoughts and ideas. It’s even easier to understand the content by learning this way.”

 

Meaningful lessons learnt at Moringa School

 

Ahmed: “Don’t stretch yourself too thin. As a new programmer, it’s tempting to try to learn everything. The thirst for knowledge is real, but in order to retain it all up properly, you can’t try to absorb too much at once. Learn at your own pace. You are bound to learn something new everyday.”

 

Latasha: “Know when to ask for help. When in doubt, just ask! A little collaboration can never hurt. And make Google your friend.”

 

Are you new to the world of programming or interested in solidifying your skills by adding practical experience to your portfolio? Apply now to become a world-class developer at Moringa School and achieve the unthinkable.

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