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DevOps engineer opens up on what inspired him to write 2 books – Tech – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Joseph Muli is not your typical developer.
  • Apart from being a DevOps Engineer at Andela, he is an author too in his own right and has already published two books
  • Business Insider SSA (BISSA) had a small chat with him to find out what inspired him to pen down his thoughts to what makes Muli tick.

From afar Joseph Muli looks every bit like any other typical developer.

He is bespectacled, seems to forever clad a pair of jeans and T shirt, some emblazoned with cute tech lingo such as “I Love Code’, which he occasionally swaps with hoods and most convincingly of all he talks like a developer and if looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck….perhaps the only thing which betrays him is an easy confident infectious smile that he forever wears.


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Apart from being a DevOps Engineer at Andela, Joseph Muli is an author too in his own right and has already published two books. (courtesy)

Don’t let all that fool you though; Muli is not your typical developer.

Apart from being a DevOps Engineer at Andela, he is an author too in his own right and has already published two books.

Beginning DevOps with Docker and Jenkins Fundamentals: Accelerate deliverables, manage builds, and automate pipelines with Jenkins are both his works and are available on Amazon.

To find out what inspired him to pen down his thoughts to what makes Muli tick,  Business Insider SSA (BISSA) had a small chat with him and here is his story.

Also read: Here are top seven movies and series that African techies love to watch and can’t get enough of


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Joseph Muli with colleagues at Andela. (courtesy)

BISSA: So before we get started, where did you go to school and what is your education background?

Muli: After high school, I wanted to pursue programming but I couldn’t find a suitable way to pursue programming. I looked for resources online, looked for courses in different colleges and finally ended up pursuing a course at Moringa School. This gave me a good foundation for a career in software development. Thereafter, I applied and joined Andela where I currently work.

BISSA: That’s impressive, what would you say drew you to technology?

Muli: Knowing what we can achieve and the impact that technology has in our lives. I wanted to be associated with and be a part of it all. Technology is the future. Honestly, ever since I learned one can do more on a computer than MS Paint, my motto has been to explore, exhaust and share. If I’m learning a new tool or language, I’m going to understand as much as I can about it and at the end of it share the knowledge with others. That’s part of what led me to writing the books.


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Arnold Okoth and Joseph Muli at Devfest 2017 by GDG Nairobi. (courtesy)

BISSA: Yet that couldn’t satisfy the flame burning inside and you had to be an author and in the last two months, you’ve published two books on Amazon, how did that happen?

Muli: The books are actually as a result of a new career path I chose in 2017. I decided to venture into DevOps, which covers software engineering cultural practices that aim to enhance product delivery in a collaborative fashion. A seasoned System Admin if you prefer. The first book, Beginning DevOps with Docker, is geared towards helping learners adopt a containerized workflow. Simply put this is streamlining, running, testing and deployment of applications during development, through a tool called Docker. I co-authored the second title, “Jenkins Fundamentals: Accelerate deliverables, manage builds, and automate pipelines with Jenkin” with Arnold Okoth, a workmate at Andela, and we designed and wrote the most efficient and simplistic way to learn Jenkins, a continuous integration tool.


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Jenkins Fundamentals: Accelerate deliverables, manage builds, and automate pipelines with Jenkin cover book. (courtesy)

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Beginning DevOps with Docker cover book. (courtesy)

 

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BISSA: How has your journey been, from a budding developer and now an author?

Muli: I have been developing for about four years, three of those professionally. I’d be lying if I said it has been easy or tough. I believe in working hard and smart, setting stretch and smart goals, seeking mentorship and most importantly, prayer. Failure will hit you so hard at times but rising above that and solving those challenges everytime will determine how strong you’ll be on the next one, and it’s bound to be bigger. I have worked my way to the title through persistence, mentorship and focus.

BISSA: Preach brother preach! Is it that self-discovery that motivates and makes you fall in love with your work?

Muli: My line of work presents two very unique opportunities: mass impact and personal growth. I am in love with the fact that I get to help someone solve or use a product and at the same time, even if in indirect communication with the user, I get to learn a thing or two from the experience. Everything is a learning experience.


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Joseph Muli speaking at Python Conference Kenya 2017. (courtesy)

 

BISSA: You make it sound so easy but I am sure it has not been a walk in the park to be where you are today, what are some of the challenges you’ve encountered so far in your career?

Muli: The most stressful one is the knowledge gap and lack of resources and platforms to enable innovation. Organisations like Andela are working hard and smart to bridge this gap, which is also one of the reasons I am proud to be an Andelan.

BISSA: When the goings get tough is there anyone you look up to for strength?

Muli: I have two: Frank Tamre, Founder at Earlycamp and Elon Musk. Both of them remind me that I should always dare to be different. Frank has mentored me since my early days at Moringa to-date. He took me from a place where I couldn’t define who I was or what I was doing, to the titles I have today.


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Joseph Muli is an author too in his own right and has already published two books. (courtesy)

 

BISSA: Frank must be very proud of you but you know what they say ‘all work and no play makes Muli a dull boy’ so what do you do for fun??

Muli: When not on the keyboard, I’m definitely gaming or watching a movie. Occasionally, I listen to podcasts and hang out with friends.

BISSA: For an upcoming developer out there, what is your two cents advice for them?

Muli: Consider mentorship, believe in yourself, work hard and smart.

This is the sixth episode in the ‘Tech Thursdays’ series, a collaboration between Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa and Andela Kenya’.



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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