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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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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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