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Employee Spotlight: Michael Pohl

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Every month, we like to shine the spotlight on our team members who make the biggest difference for our subscribers. This month, we interviewed Michael Pohl, our VP of Development! Michael is a valuable member of our team, and we want to show him off! Learn more about Michael and his Liftoff journey below in his Q&A-style interview.

Liftoff: Tell us about your career. What led you to Liftoff?

Michael: Andrew suckered me into joining Liftoff back in 2013. We had worked together several years prior, and the fusion of technology, marketing, and startup energy he fostered at Liftoff drew me away from my role at a larger company.

It’s been a circuitous path getting here. Growing up in the ‘80s, I’d stay up all night creating games in BASIC on my Atari 800. When I reached college, I opted instead for degrees in English and education, eventually teaching high school in rural Mississippi. Circumstances led me to teaching computer-aided composition (bleeding edge in the mid ‘90s!) as an adjunct at the University of Louisville.

After that, I took a help desk job at Discount Labels. That morphed into building the company’s intranet, and then into helping create their ecommerce system, circa 1998. Shortly thereafter we created a multi-tenant web-to-print platform (again, bleeding edge in the late ‘90s!) for DLI’s customers. I continued to grow as a developer before moving to Liftoff, which is where the real fun began.

I love the journey that’s taken me from middle school nerd to English teacher to web programmer to tech exec. It’s been incredible building the Liftoff platform from the ground up with everyone on our amazing team. Like my tattoo says, NO REGERTS!

Liftoff: What do you do for Liftoff?

Michael: As VP of Development, I get to collaborate with incredibly smart people every day. Our Dev team is an aggregate of three teams here at Liftoff: Product; Engineering; and QA & Support. Across those teams, everyone is an expert at what they do, and everyone is open and gracious with their talents.

Together, we’ve put together a wide array of best practices and leading-edge technologies: a scalable cloud-based infrastructure; automated deployments; automated end-to-end tests; integration with Slack for notifications across our infrastructure; thoughtful development workflows and roadmaps; APIs; microservices; documentation frameworks; company-wide security training; load testing; and tons more. Oh, and we also built this incredible platform called Liftoff.

We’re continually looking forward as well. Each day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity.

Liftoff: Tell us about your favorite feature of the platform.

Michael: Our OData API has been a blast to develop. The implementation is very clean and easy to extend. The resulting API is powerful and flexible for our subscribers – as well as for us. It’s a super robust, headless option for accommodating a range of custom solutions.

Liftoff: What do you like to do for fun?

Michael: I’m into travel, skateboarding, hanging out with my family, and taking our puppers for walkies. Also, I am way too into the Love Boat. #Isaac4Lyfe

Liftoff: Do you have any parting thoughts for the audience?

Michael: I feel extremely fortunate to have a job where I get to solve interesting puzzles all day long. I’m a strong proponent of Liftoff’s core product philosophy: solving complex problems in the most elegant, intuitive way possible. I love working with our team to ensure that every action, every word, and every pixel we present to our users contributes to that goal.



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