Meet Code Role Model - Natalie!
Say hello to Natalie Korotaeva, a UX designer and engineer from Siberia! Natalie has paved her own way to a very bright future thanks to her love of technology. She also loves fitness, make-up, and fashion...after all, she is a Bezlo Girl! Natalie currently works in Vienna, Austria. She is one very determined and hardworking Bezlo Girl who, on top of her day job, is very active in the Women in Tech scene in Vienna and beyond. She is a public speaker, curator of the ChatBots community, and botshackathon organizer! You name it, she can do it! Oh and did we mention she also is a major science-fiction lover and cyborg?!
Hi Natalie, thank you so much for taking time to chat with us. We are so excited to learn about what do you do and find out what drives you to be the “bionic girl” you are so often referred to as!
How and when did you develop your passion for technology?
Since I was a kid, I was really into space. Reading books about astronomy was my hobby. I was especially inspired by black holes...they are so magical! Still think so :). In kindergarten, I was always playing with my friends in a “spaceship”. I’m still reading a lot of science fiction and I think this was the beginning of my journey to science, technology and all things futuristic.
I started to learn basic HTML/CSS in school at the age of 14 or so. We were developing our own webpages and as much as I can remember, mine was all pink and black :)
Do you think anyone at any age can learn to code? If so what would you recommend is the best way to learn?
I believe age is not important to understand the basics of code. I believe that nowadays, everyone should be able to at least understand code! I think the best way for kids (and not just kids!) to learn is through games :).
The learning never stops! What new skills are you currently learning?
Currently I’m researching and learning about the topic “Machine learning for designers”. I see it as a very exciting and promising technology that I also can implement in my everyday work!
What is your favourite tech gadget you are using at the moment?
I have a tech gadget that’s placed directly into my hand :) It’s a small NFC chip...you can record information like your business card or QR flight tickets.
It’s clear you love fashion and makeup too! Has technology played a part in your style?
In a way, yes. I would say my style is quite simple. I basically wear only either black or grey colours, but I love geometric prints and a combination of metal things and grey material.
Wow, your style reminds us a lot of robots and cyborgs! What excites you most about your job/technology?
The future! When I see what you can do with big data, self-driving cars, predicting prices – it literally drives me! I’m passionate about working at the cutting age of the technology. You basically can see the future!
We see from your website that you are a fantastic public speaker! Can talk about how you developed those skills?
Oh, this is a tough question for me! A few years ago, I was afraid to talk in front of more than 5 people in a room. I was nervous that I could forget my words or not express myself as “sophisticated”. I’m still constantly improving my skills through practice!
How do you think we can encourage more girls to learn to code and be more engaged with the technology they are using?
Hello Bezlo is already doing a great job by providing a possibility to look different. We can’t deny that the way we dress makes people think about who we are and what we can do. We can basically change our behaviour depending on how we look! It’s extremely important to give girls a chance to choose who they are, and moreover, who they want to become.
Finally, if you could go back to give your ten year old self advice what would it be?
When I was younger, I was living in an industrial city in the middle of Siberia, with limited opportunities regarding my future. I would tell ten-year-old Natalie: “Never give up! Be persistent and follow your passion”.
Thank you so much, Natalie, for taking the time to inspire us! You have an incredible success story that came through power and determination. We love that your work is fueled by your passion for technology and the future! So many of us Bezlo Girls can relate to your interests in space, science fiction, and coding. We also love imagining we are flying in spaceships!
You can continue following Natalie’s journey of coding her way to space by following her on Instagram at @siberiancyborg.