CYBER SECURITY AT MORINGA SCHOOL

DV5A3100

By Zoe Ochwango, Moringa School Staff.

From the 27th of May to 6th of July, 2017, Moringa School ran a course on Cyber Security with Africahackon, which had a great reception from tech enthusiasts in Kenya. The idea for the training was motivated by three main aspects: the need to embrace new trends in technology, how cybersecurity is becoming increasingly needed as technology use increases, and finally, the national security of any country highly depends on it. We have always challenged ourselves to constantly work to becoming more relevant in the continuously changing priorities of a country and job market.

Kenya has suffered from many cybersecurity attacks, ranging from attempts to disrupt critical infrastructure to steal information, funds and disrupt delivery of essential services. A more recent one was speculations regarding the hacking of Safaricom and MPESA services for a day. Because close to 45% of Kenya’s GDP flows through MPESA, the hacking of such a service in the future would do much harm to the economy of the nation. With majority of the things we do today going online – working, shopping, playing, and dependence on digital services quickly growing – the need to protect our information from being maliciously disrupted or misused is really important. Cases of cyber security threats have also been on the increase now than ever before. Therefore having a stable, safe and resilient cyberspace is of utmost importance to our daily life.

So what really is cybersecurity?

As RSA Security LLC puts it:

“Cybersecurity is not about writing elegant code or building a high performance network. It is about managing risks. The reason we continually fail to adequately secure our networks is not a failure to understand technology, but a failure to understand people and how they behave. That’s why some of the best penetration testers and incident investigators come from non-STEM backgrounds”

An article in the Harvard Business Review referred to information security scientists as:

“The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.”

Cyber security is certainly a career that requires not only just strong analytical thinking skills, but also a creative mind with the ability to know how systems can be interfered with. Most times engineers create systems which they are later on surprised to see people use in ways they never thought would be possible. Therefore, learning cybersecurity will push one to higher levels of creativity to think through those kinds of things.

What does the future look like on cybersecurity?

The reality is that if someone wants to be an expert at risk management presently, the best ground will be in cybersecurity. It was ranked 8th on World Report’s list of the 100 best jobs for 2015 by USnews, with an estimated 36.5 % profession growth rate by 2022, 209,000 vacant cybersecurity jobs in 2015 in the U.S and a whopping $88,890 median yearly pay for an information security analyst.

Through the training program organised by Moringa School, trainees were able to understand online security concepts such as The course we had helped those who came for it understand what online security is, how they can protect their digital life; home or work (threat landscape), risk management and  fundamental challenges of networking and communication. They also had an opportunity to know harmful online threats and the steps on how to tackle this.

Moringa School is presently scaling to other countries; Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, with these countries also facing the same challenges on cyber security attacks as the others, the need to have a part of the population of these countries competent to handle these challenges is one of our top priorities. Our vision, which is to build human capacity by training people of varied technical ability in a holistic way, is our guiding light!

Advertisements

Giants in Programming

By James Kimani, Moringa Prep

Hello world. My name is James Kimani. I recently joined Moringa School for the Moringa prep program and I am planning to go back to do ruby on rails and java. This story narrows down my experience in Moringa School and what prompted me to join Moringa School.

I have a degree in procurement. In campus I fell in love with technology. I had interest which slowly grew into passion. This is why I ventured into programming. I strongly believe that any business that does not utilize technology loses profits. A business that does not make use of technology does not fully achieve its potential. Technology allows you to have clients and business partners from anywhere in the world. Technology creates solutions to problems in the society. Technology makes life easier and fun. Technology enables you to work remotely from home. The final and most crucial to me-technology allows you to spend more time with family; this is because you can easily become your own BOSS.

Upon searching for a school in Kenya that provides high quality education and training in programming, I almost threw in the towel until my friend recommended me to join Moringa School. He had heard good things about the school from his friends. It was at such a pivotal time because I was sick of watching online tutorials on YouTube. I needed a classroom setup where I could consult someone if I got stuck and learn more from other people. I applied for Moringa School and I was called for an interview. I said to myself “interview?! This is interesting.” In Kenya if you apply for a course most schools never call you for an interview. You are just required to submit your qualifications and pay the school fees. Moringa School is different. They actually want to know why you are interested in programming, this helps them to know you and help you achieve your dreams.

Rolling up my sleeves for the first day and I will say it was fun! After orientation we were introduced to our very own Technical Mentors. Technical mentors help you in your studies whenever you face any challenge; they are always there ready to help. The kind of learning style at Moringa School is different from the ones people are used to. You have peer programming. This is where you get to study in pairs. You have a partner, who you study together with, do code practice and challenges with. Then after a short duration of time, like two days, you switch to a different partner. It is fun because you get to work with people who think different from you; you are also able to learn more than you could have otherwise studying alone. Moringa School also provides time for you to work alone.

Moringa School has sweet notes hosted online. I must admit it’s remarkable. Their notes are detailed and very helpful. You are able to understand code easier because of its simplicity and do code practice. Moringa School does not condone copy pasting of code because they actually want students to learn. You get to have one on ones with your technical mentor so that they can know how you are progressing. On Friday you do an independent project which helps you put into practice what you have been learning the entire week. We hang with the senior developers who are doing the more advanced programming and they get to advice you, see your projects and comment on it.

I did the Moringa prep program. Moringa prep is an introduction to programming. You get to learn front-end web development using html, css, bootstrap and a little JavaScript and jQuery. You later get to advance when you pass the class and join Moringa core. In Moringa core you get to choose the android package or ruby on rails package. The android package has deeper JavaScript, java and android app development. The ruby on rails basically is a web development framework written in ruby.

My journey in Moringa School was amazing. It stretched my mind and got me to realize that I am capable of doing more than I can imagine. I grew on my interpersonal skills-I am now able to express myself better. This is because you get to present your projects to other people. There are numerous activities in Moringa School which help in growth, some of them are: stand-ups, lightning talks, group projects and independent projects among many others. There is usually yoga in the evening at least twice a week. On Thursday Moringa School invites a guest speaker who is in the industry and they get to advise us. We interact with them and actually get to grow and know what is expected of us. It is a great place to network and meet Giants in programming. One thing that stood out for me was the staff. Moringa school has the friendliest staff I’ve ever meet. They are always cheerful and willing to help. Moringa School is more of a family.

Moringa School teaches you learn how to learn. At first, when I heard this statement during orientation I did not understand it. Having gone through the Moringa prep I actually feel comfortable learning by myself how to code which I actually didn’t before I joined Moringa School. I know how to do proper research, learn a new programming language by myself using documentations and videos. That I would only have achieved through Moringa School.

So, would I recommend somebody to join Moringa School? I already did and they have already joined. I recommended a friend of my mine to join Moringa School Immediately after I had an interview. I know a serious and professional school when I see one. I am sure that very soon Moringa School will be in-taking more than 1000 students in a single cohort because people are actually realising the importance of Technology. If you want to join a programming school and you are not certain which school you want to join, I recommend you to join Moringa School.

My advice to an aspiring developer is: be strong, do not be fainthearted and do not give up. You do not need to understand a concept the first time, second time or third time. Just do practice. Success is the sum of small efforts — repeated day in and day out. A ship is safe in the harbour but that’s not what ships are built for. Push yourself; do not be in a comfort zone!

Here’s the Original Link

A MOMENT CAPTURED

By Newton Karanu, MC3
My history
In my life, since I started having a conscious mind, I developed the urge to seek information. It is all I ever wanted. I felt like I had this thirst that could not be quenched by anything but information. So my journey began. I would go to my dad’s library just to read his Physics, Maths and Computer Programming books in order to try quenching my thirst. This went on for a while until I got to high school. Then my thirst increased tenfold. This was mainly because I felt like the school I was in wasn’t providing me with the necessary information that I needed. By the time I was done with high school, I had finished my virtual degree in psychology as I had read all of the psychology books at home.

One night, while in the library, I got a hold of a book written Fortran. This is where my journey in programming begun. I always wanted to understand what makes computers to work. So I began my first language. It was hectic. I quit in a few days after I had gone through almost half the book and I could not make sense of any of what I read. So I moved on and started learning command prompt. I perfected my skill so much that I started making viruses in high school for the fun of watching computers do other things than what they were programmed to do. I got done with high school and wondered, what next.

Moringa school
Life after high school was funny, everyone wanted me to go to university. As per what I had heard from by siblings, University was not just the place for me. So I started searching. Then one day in the newspaper, I read about moringa school. From the very word go, my intuitively knew that this was the place to go, so I emailed them and asked for an interview. What a shock it was for me when I got replied to that very same day. An interview was arranged and I came in prepared to answer the hardest questions in my life. The person interviewing me, I later came to learn that he was my technical mentor was awesome. He didn’t just ask me questions because they were to be asked, I felt like he actually meant each and every one of them. He cared. Soon after, I got my invitation email.

Moringa Prep
It was the most confusing moment of my life. Having been used to the normal classroom setup, the flipped classroom literally flipped my mind. But I was determined to know what javascript and git were, so I kept on working. Throughout the five weeks of prep, it was the best of times and the hardest of times also. The five weeks felt like five months, but now as I look back, the five weeks were like than 5 minutes. Finally, we were graduating. The best feeling was when I was shaking the hands of my mentor and the CEO of moringa. Later that evening, we decided to take our mentor out. It was the best feeling I had in a long time. I felt like I really belong in Moringa school family.

Moringa Core
After finishing Moringa prep, I went for a 10-week break, before beginning ruby. In that period, I had been shaped by Moringa School to understand that in as much as everyone is diverse, I need to be inclusive of them. I started looking at things in a very different perspective and I liked it. Sooner than later, I was back in Moringa School to begin my core classes. I felt like Prep was baby steps. I was now in a marathon. As I go on with this journey of coding, I would like to pass my gratitude to Moringa School, and tell them that I wouldn’t be where I am right now were it not for them. Live long and prosper!

An Environment to Shine!

Kenn Muguna

To this day, I still remember how it was arriving at Moringa School’s Ngong Lane Office suite on that first Tuesday morning. I had tried my best to get there as early as I could, and from the look of things, my timing wasn’t that bad. Walking in, I caught a glimpse of a lady I later came to know as Rose, doing her best to tidy up space and get it ready for day one. It had been such a long wait since I registered for this first class, and as soon as I got that acceptance email back, I kept imagining how the first day would turn out. As soon as Rose saw me, she ran towards, and with a welcoming smile, offered a list of names & implored that I append my signature next to mine. Later on, I found out that this would be something I’d have to be doing each morning for the next 23 weeks I’d be here.

As mentioned on their website, Moringa school is something that you’ve most likely never experienced before. Everything is different. I, for one, found the flipped classroom setup to be very, very interesting. You see, you’re expected to go through high-quality content that’ll put you on par with what other developers are learning in other parts of the globe. You’re also allowed to go through it at your pace, and it is content that will always be available to you at home, school or your office to go through at your will.

If you’re genuinely thinking about enrolling for the next class, I might as well be real with you and admit; you’ll need some real willpower to get through this especially if you’ve never really had any experience with programming before. If this sounds like you, don’t fret. The prevailing culture here allows you to seek out help from anyone you think might have a better grasp on what you’re trying to understand. The technical mentors here are also quite friendly, and more than eager to see you through.

There’s something about going through challenges as a group that brings people closer together. I say so because, the friends I’ve made here are friends whom we’ve had to keep up with deadlines, project requirements, errors and so much more, with everyone trying to make sure that no-one gets left behind. If you’re an introvert, or you’re not that good at being social, don’t worry. The atmosphere here will make you comfortable enough to be yourself, and this will allow you to work towards achieving your highest potential.

As I write this, we’re in week 19, and about to start off work on our final projects. We have about four weeks to build something from scratch, and whatever we create is meant to showcase the skills we’ve acquired over our stay here. The mere thought of this is both humbling, as it is exciting because we can’t wait to finish the course and get back out there; back to the world.

If you’re keen on starting up a career in tech, Moringa School is by far your best option, but only if you have the discipline and self-drive to see yourself through.

See you on the other side.

Kenn.