Musician turned IT professional. Not the full story, but it’s a good start when it comes to Nao Vang. Nao is an Intivix Network Engineer and supports clients in the East Bay Area. He spends a portion of his time providing Tier 1 and Tier 2 support over the phone, and the remainder of his time on-location with clients, answering questions, troubleshooting, and working with the senior engineering staff. A people-person by nature, Nao certainly prefers his time-on-site, but more importantly, he loves helping clients solve their IT challenges.
Nao’s a California guy through and through. He was born and raised in Fresno, CA, along with his three brothers, four sisters, half-brother, and half-sister. Yep, it was a full house, which may explain why he enjoys being around others so much. Currently, he lives with his girlfriend, Kristina, along with their two dogs and two cats. It’s a different kind of full house, and it is one that he absolutely loves. He’s raised the dogs since they were puppies, and luckily all of the animals get along. In fact, one of the cats may believe it is actually a dog. Nao often catches the cat laying with the dogs. His other cat, well, it’s a true cat and isn’t terribly friendly.
Nao has a passion for music, and it’s a passion that he’s had since his teen years. He studied jazz and classical guitar prior to high school and throughout college. He also worked as a session musician for a number of years. As a session musician, he dealt quite a bit with technology, software, computers, and troubleshooting issues. Although this was a few years before he transitioned into IT, the knowledge he picked up enabled him to quickly learn the ins and outs.
The music bug hasn’t left him though. He still plays guitar and enjoys learning about jazz to this day. It’s a great way for him to unwind and use the creative side of the brain. The balance of IT by day and music and creativity at night seems to be a trend of Nao, as he also enjoys cooking. On certain days he’ll leverage recipes that he has picked up from YouTube, but on other days he’ll “wing it” a bit and test out different recipes and flavor profiles. Although he favors Thai food and spicy food, he’ll try cooking just about anything. It’s the process, and the end result of enjoying the dish, that he finds interesting.
When he’s not strumming on his guitar or cooking something up in the kitchen, he and Kristina will be out exploring the hiking trails in the Bay Area. There are plenty of hiking options in the area, which means they, and the dogs, enjoy exploring and catching the views of the area that they live in. And, hiking is a whole lot easier on the body than kickboxing is, which was his exercise, and sport of choice, in college. He does still enjoy watching kickboxing fights every once in a while.
Nao also loves a good book. Over the years he’s read a number of biographies, but more recently he’s jumped into more technical books. He likes digging into various topics with the goal of self-educating himself. Of course, this goal of self-educating spills over and encompasses reading beyond books as well. It’s less about the form the knowledge comes in, and more about the gathering of knowledge, and the continuing education.
And this continuing education plays a big role in his work-life. Nao finds satisfaction in helping clients solve their IT issues. What he learns and how he approaches work every day is for the benefit of the clients. He always has their best interest in mind and has the end goal of helping them advance their business.