Computer Science Graduate Built His Future—Virtually—As A Student

Reprinted from UTSA Today

Spring 2020 graduating senior of Computer Science Matt Moore helps build our community—with software. As a spring 2020 graduate of UTSA with his bachelor’s degree in computer science, this software engineer will help build H-E-B’s proprietary delivery service.

The road to Moore’s H-E-B career opportunity was built both virtually and onsite. He participated in university STEM fairs and was an active member of the UTSA chapter for the Association for Computer Machinery. In ACM he worked through the ranks to eventually become its president.

“For me, the career fair was a foot in the door to obtain work at H-E-B, and ACM held the door open,” said Moore.

He didn’t just focus on himself, though, once he secured an internship with H-E-B last year. His home is Castroville, a small town outside San Antonio where unity is everything. He therefore set out, with other members, to use the organization as a bridge to employers. H-E-B and other members of the local business community were invited to participate in tech talks and workshops.

“Going to class and getting good grades is important, but it's not everything. Participating in events outside of class, joining student organizations and building relationships with others is a huge part of the college experience,” said Moore.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, this year’s ACM’s signature event, RowdyHacks, had close to 400 online participants and received 75 project submissions—doubled from last year.

Many of the hacks addressed the immediate needs that COVID-19 exposed in San Antonio. For example, one of the winning apps, Quaranteemed took the online match-making service model and proposed connecting citizens that had extra supplies with those that desperately needed them.

“I am constantly humbled and encouraged by my peers,” Moore said about fellow Roadrunners. “The real credit for the success of the event goes to this year’s executive director and the rest of the RowdyHacks team. Their contributions affected me and the legacy of our organization.”

Moore has put a lot of effort into his education and UTSA faculty has responded in kind. The ACM has been supported by UTSA’s Department of Computer Science, in particular faculty advisor Mark Robinson and Jianwei Niu. ACM-W, an additional group within ACM that focuses on the issues women and students of color face in entering the tech field, is mentored by Niu.

Some people would be surprised to learn that Moore completed one prior bachelor’s degree. Yet his previous college experience didn’t involve any community building. He promised himself that if he ever returned to college, it would be different the second time around.

“If I had any advice to offer the incoming class, it would be ‘never stop finding ways to invest in yourself.’ Volunteer your time, connect with people, make the effort, be part of something bigger,” said Moore. “Your education is an investment, so if you're going to invest, go all in!”