The Admin View: Travis Nave

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Welcome to the inaugural entry of The Admin View! With this space, we're excited to share brief talks with esteemed technology administrators from across the global Autodesk Community. These short conversations will give you a glimpse into the day-to-day work of tech admins from across the ever-evolving design and manufacturing industries.

For our inaugural entry, we spoke to Illinois-based tech admin Travis Nave, a valued Autodesk Forum contributor and charter member of our Expert Elite program. For nearly two decades, Nave has been a staunch advocate of Autodesk's ever-evolving community, and we couldn't be more excited to share a glimpse into his career thus far.

 

Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Travis Nave, and I'm an IT Network Administrator based out of Mt. Zion, Illinois. I have over 25 years of experience as a Network Administrator specializing in supporting the installation, networking, and licensing of Windows and Autodesk products. I hold a degree in Computer Information Systems and numerous certifications from CompTIA, Microsoft, and Autodesk. I am also honored to be an Autodesk Expert Elite program charter member.  

 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Since I'm in IT, my work day can look different from day to day. But generally, I start by checking emails and reviewing server system log reports in the morning before checking our email spam filters. As the day progresses, I will deal with technical issues involving internal employees and our servers. I also help our support staff, who directly support our customers. As an Autodesk VAR, most of our time is spent addressing customer needs, but specifically, I help with network installation, licensing, and other technical aspects of the customer's enterprise. As an Expert Elite, I also regularly assist on the Autodesk Forums, directly helping customers from around the globe.


Travis Nave.jpg                                          Pictured: Travis Nave 

What teams or customers do you work with?

I work directly and indirectly with customers from all over the US by supporting our solutions engineering staff. Generally, I am used as a top-tier solution provider should a Solutions Engineer be required to elevate a support incident. It's not uncommon to work directly with admin staff to help implement their Autodesk SSO or with end users who may have an installation problem. 

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

It usually takes me about 40 minutes to drive from home to work and back, which generally gives me plenty of buffer time to decompress. After work, I attend CrossFit classes and have regular date nights with my wife during the week. 

 

Could you share some of your proudest moments from your work?

One of my proudest moments was saving the domain enterprise from complete collapse after the Active Directory and Exchange Server failed in the early 2000s. In those days, it wasn't uncommon for small businesses' servers to be lumped together or lack redundancy. After this incident, I deployed multiple redundant virtual servers and implemented multiple disaster recovery options. 

 

A more recent example was during the 2020 pandemic when our office shut down, but our company was ready to transition to work-from-home from Day 1. We achieved this by deploying laptops to 100% of employees and providing ready access to VPN and cloud-based servers. Productivity and sales have increased and have continued to do so since adopting WFH. 

 

What are some of the challenges you face as a tech admin? Do you have advice for other tech admins?

Honestly, the biggest challenges I face are with other tech admins. There is a misconception that as people grow up with technology, they will become more proficient in its usage within the industry. But I have often found that the opposite is true. I had always assumed that knowledge like mine would eventually become antiquated, but it has become more valuable than ever. Sometimes, tech admins are less familiar with an Autodesk product than I am or pigeonhole themselves into very restrictive policies that create more problems than they solve. My biggest advice to other tech admins is to avoid making policies that result in more work for yourself. That way, you can focus your attention on providing a better service. 

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity*

 

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About the Author

TravisNave

Certified Autodesk Platinum Partner and Software Asset Management Partner. I am an experienced IT Professional with 24+ years experience as a Network Administrator and 17+ years supporting Autodesk products. I specialize in supporting the installation, networking, and licensing for Windows and Autodesk products. I hold a degree in Computer Information Systems as well as numerous certifications from CompTIA, Microsoft, and Autodesk. I am also honored to be a charter member in the Autodesk Expert Elite program on these forums.