This article was written for our sponsor, Thinkful.

Albert Troszczynski is one of the lucky few individuals who’s been able to marry his passions with his profession. Thanks to a coding bootcamp with Thinkful, he was able to break out of a career rut and unite his love of the NFL with coding experience to create a model that predicts the probability of a team scoring.

“Essentially, with high accuracy, I can predict, before a ball is snapped on any given play, whether the team is going to score or not,” Troszczynski explained. “So, it’s not necessarily me predicting over the course of a game when they are going to score, but with every single snap we can update the information that you’re feeding to the system based on the time on the clock, the drive, the score, a bunch of these different variables and predict with high accuracy whether they will score on that play or not.”

Troszczynski graduated college with a social science degree. After finding himself in a career that didn’t feel like the right fit, he pursued a data science bootcamp through Thinkful, one of the newest coding bootcamps to come to Raleigh. Since 2011, coding and development bootcamps have rapidly expanded across the United States, with around 100 for students to choose from today, all with the goal of filling the ever-growing demand for technology jobs.

Albert Troszczynski

Thanks to a coding bootcamp with Thinkful, Albert Troszczynski was able to break out of a career rut and unite his love of the NFL with coding experience to create a model that predicts the probability of a team scoring. (Photo Courtesy of Thinkful)

“There are a lot of people leaving college with social science degrees like I got,” Troszczynski said. “Then that idealism wilts a little bit when the reality hits of getting a job and what the job market looks like. Bootcamps allow you to get those technical skills. I was working in digital marketing, so it was still kind of data-related, but I didn’t have the skillset that I wanted to push a little bit further into the data sector.”

Each bootcamp offers a different perspective, but most focus on direct job training and placement, an area of focus Troszczynski feels is absent from traditional four-year colleges and universities.

Some bootcamps are online and some are in person, some have internship requirements, others don’t. They come in many forms but share the same end goal of providing real-world experience in coding, data and other tech skills in the hopes of securing employment for the student.

Troszczynski chose Thinkful’s data science program, a six-month, part-time bootcamp that relies on a model of one-on-one mentorship with industry professionals because it offered a job guarantee at the end of the program.

“That was a pretty big deal for me because they were willing to put their money where their mouth was,” Trosczynski said.

For his class project, Troszczynski decided to work with data from a field he is passionate about — the NFL. He created a model that takes football-related data sets and uses them to spit out a probability that a team will score. That number will increase or decrease at any given moment based on his algorithm’s analysis of the historical information of past scoring.

“I was trying to think if I were sitting around with my buddies watching a football game, what would be a good tool to have on hand,” Troszczynski said of why he chose this particular area for his project. “I thought it would be cool to have an algorithm like this. If we were placing bets, we could use it to spice up the game experience even.”

Coding bootcamps give students like Troszczynski an opportunity to pursue an area of interest and establish a portfolio to use in their job search.

Thinkful’s bootcamp not only provided Troszczynski with a functioning algorithm to show off, but also direct connections to potential future jobs and opportunities. Those connections aren’t just for show; Thinkful bootcamp alumni have found careers at some of the most prominent tech companies in the world, including Amazon, IBM and Google.

Thinkful launched in the Triangle on Sept. 17.

This article was written for our sponsor, Thinkful.