• 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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'.