This legally blind paralympic gold medalist is harnessing his fighting spirit to upskill in tech
Growing up legally blind and with albinism, Scott Moore faced more than his share of obstacles. “People automatically have expectations when you have a disability,” he says. “They expect you to fail. They don’t expect you to be able to do what they can do.”
But throughout his life, Scott has never let his visual impairment—or anything else, for that matter—stand in the way of his goals. Instead, he has turned people’s assumptions into fuel for his success.
Dedicating tens of thousands of hours to the martial arts practice of judo, Scott not only became an expert at throws, chokes, and holds—he became the best: winning three Paralympic medals, including the first gold in USA Judo history. “Having people underestimate you,” he says, “is a good motivator.”
When he was laid off from his long-standing web developer job, Scott applied that same tenacity he has as a sixth-degree black belt to leveling up his tech skills in the University of Denver (DU) Coding Boot Camp.
Training Day and Night
Joining the boot camp wasn’t Scott’s first time as a student at DU. Many years earlier, he had earned a master’s degree from DU in computer information systems, balancing night classes with his daytime training at Colorado’s U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. “I was behind my basement computer late into the night, teaching myself programming,” he says. “I remember my wife—who’s also a national judo champion—calling down to me on my cell at two AM, asking if I was coming to bed.”
Once he launched his tech career, Scott spent over a decade building web servers and pages with ASP and SharePoint, troubleshooting code, and becoming an IT jack-of-all-trades. But when the grant supporting his salary dried up and Scott was left to find a new job, he realized that technology had accelerated in those years—and he hadn’t kept up with its pace.
Pushing Past Barriers
But Scott’s apprehension quickly waned once the boot camp was underway. “I got into it and loved it!” he says. The course’s online format enabled him to use his extra-large monitor to accommodate his visual needs, and the part-time coursework fit well into his demanding judo schedule. Most of all, he loved the interactive nature of the course.
Judo Master, Coding Mentor
Fresh out of DU’s boot camp, Scott is excited to apply all that he learned to the next step in his tech career. He’s currently priming himself for job interviews by utilizing the expansive career services that come standard with the program. “They’ve helped me perfect my resume and cover letter,” he says. “And the webinar on imposter syndrome was great. Hearing so many other students talk about how they also struggle with those negative feelings was eye-opening.”
Scott’s life will always have a place for judo—retired from competition, he will keep coaching the Paralympic team and training—but he’s eager to go all in with full-stack coding. “I’m a techie at heart. In the past I called myself a wannabe nerd, but now, thanks to the boot camp, I’m an official nerd,” he says, smiling.
Ready to pursue a career in tech? Explore University of Denver Boot Camps today.
Last updated: September 2022