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My name is Natalie Taktachev. I want to combine my passion for civic engagement with my interests in software engineering to make a difference. Currently, I am near the end of my curriculum in the Online Software Engineering program at Flatiron School, as well as the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Certificate Program offered through Coursera. As I finish these up, I wanted to start a blog to share things I learned, because blogs were an invaluable resource to me while learning and I want to help people just the same.

Right now, I will introduce myself, so here is a little about me:

I went to Hunter College for Political Science, Urban Studies and Russian and East Central European Studies. My goal then was to work in public policy, ideally as an analyst/policy writer for the New York City government. This is still a goal of mine, but it now looks a little different.

During my last year of college, while I was a Public Service Scholar for the First Deputy Commissioner at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), I took a course on Cybersecurity in the Political Science department. We learned about the intersection of technology and politics, touching topics such as radicalization through the internet, cyberwarfare, etc. and the ways in which technology can be used as a political tool, in instances like attacks on critical infrastructure, and access to, and exposure of, classified documents. This caused me to reexamine how I look at and interact with technology, and I asked for projects with the IT Department at ACS. Shortly after, I enrolled in the Software Engineering program at Flatiron School. My goal was to learn how to create apps that are efficient, reliable, and easy to use, and to combine that with public service work.

Outside of that, one of my favorite hobbies is exploring the city, usually on a bike (I have two vintage road bikes that I fix and maintain myself), and finding new places to eat. I also like to learn about Russian and Slavic history and culture, and sharing that with others. I co-hosted a radio show about Eastern European music during college called Eastern Bloc Party, which continued to live on as a Twitch stream after graduation, now with a visual component.

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