Wish you could leave your tech job behind and run off to New York City to become a model and actor? Well, former actor/stuntman/model Ausar McGruder wanted the exact opposite and left behind the world of fashion and entertainment for a life developing tech.
“If I do something big I’d rather it be in technology than modeling,” McGruder told Technical.ly DC. “I want to be known for something other than being pretty and taking pictures, but that I’m pretty smart. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t know about me, and people assume actors and models aren’t that sharp.”
McGruder, 25, was raised in Columbia, Maryland, and after high school became an in-store Abercrombie and Fitch model. That led to a contract with Under Armor, and he spent 2013-2015 modeling and acting in New York. Some of his credits include running frantically during intense action scenes in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 and as the cameraman for the Youtube channel Model Pranksters, which stopped Times Square cold with a Zac Efron lookalike prank.
“I made the most money modeling while I was in New York than I ever made in my life,” McGruder said. “I was making $70,000 a year. With Spider-Man, they had these crazy rates like $3,000 every two weeks. So, it was the most fun and made the most money, but I couldn’t shake that feeling that if I wanted to make an impact it would be in tech. There are so many opportunities with crypto-currency, with AI, cybersecurity. So many cool things are going on.”
McGruder moved back to Maryland and got to work taking course at Coding Dojo‘s D.C.-area location. In three months he’ll start work as a Python Developer with Cyntelligent Solutions, and in the meantime has been teaching computer programming as a Python instructor at Maryland computer certification school PhoenixTS.
McGruder said he’d like to open his own tech school.
“The need for developers and people in tech is insanely high. The world needs so many more developers, more people in tech and these coding boot camps and cyber schools are opening up everywhere,” he said.