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Employee Spotlight: Nick Wheeler

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 Nick Wheeler, Liftoff's incredible Technical Writer! Get to know Nick, his interests, and his story with Team Liftoff.

Liftoff: So, Nick, what has your career with Liftoff been like so far?

Nick: Since I came on board in early 2016, my Liftoff life has been a Forrest Gump story. This company has grown from scratch, so each time we’ve had growing pains, there’s been an emerging need or a new role to fill. Many of those times, I’ve been the one to volunteer (or, in a case or two, be “volun-told,” as they say) to step up and fill the need. I was brought on as a software developer; from there, I put on hats as project manager, operations manager, and QA lead, and even those don’t encompass the volume and variety of special tasks and projects I’ve handled.

“Who can we get to do this?”

“Well, I mean, Nick’ll probably do it...”

...and so it’s gone. The journey of jumping from job to job has been the very best part of my experience here. I’m not someone who likes doing the same things every single day; spending seven years at Liftoff building the résumé equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting has ensured that I never fall into that rut. It’s wonderful!

Liftoff: Sounds like you’ve covered a lot of ground here! Tell us what you typically do in your current role.

Nick: My latest hat is that of a technical writer. I’m Liftoff’s wordsmith, and I think it’s my favorite role of them all so far. My job is to make sure that you, whoever you are, can figure out how to use Liftoff in the easiest, most efficient, helpful, and approachable way.

The bulk of my time is spent elbows-deep in refining and expanding our knowledge base. I’m just recently getting rolling with fistfuls of other helpful things, too. There are some pretty spectacular logs in the fire, and they’re all meant to get you the help you need. Keep those eyes peeled!

Liftoff is awesome. We know this. My job is to make sure that the documentation, training material, how-to guides, and almost any other written words behind the platform are awesome, too.

I’m a bit of a jokester and a prankster, and my favorite part of my current role is finding subtle ways of injecting humor or “curveballs” into the things I write. Next time you’re reading one of my knowledge base articles, see if you can spot me in there. The text in screenshots tends to be a good place to start.

Liftoff: Do you have a favorite feature of the Liftoff platform?

Nick: That’d have to be what we on the team call “back-end ordering.” That’s the tool that allows our subscribers to create estimates, place orders for themselves, or place an order on behalf of their customers. It’s like using Liftoff in stealth hacker mode. The amount of work that went into that system is bananas. It’s exquisitely, expertly engineered, and it’s a game-changer for our clientele. Also, I love using it, so there’s that, too.

I can’t resist sharing: You’ll find that system located in Orders > Draft Orders in My Liftoff.

Liftoff: Let’s switch the conversation up a bit. What are your favorite sports teams?

Nick: I grew up during the Clyde Drexler/Terry Porter/Clifford “Uncle Cliffy” Robinson era of the Portland Trail Blazers. You know, the Blazers team that came closer than anyone to dethroning the Jordan Bulls? The one that inspired Bulls vs. Blazers Nintendo games?

What a time to be a basketball fan that was! My fan jersey is Rasheed Wallace’s, though, because he took a similar approach to his job as I do to my own. Maybe I get “teed up” once in a while, but it’s only because I take the work very, very seriously. Except when I’m goofin’.

Rip City, baby! “Both teams played hard.”

You’re also likely to find me watching the Tampa Bay Lightning thrashing their opponents on ice (especially if that opponent is the Leafs) or beaming while the Buffalo Bills win super bowls.

Oof… that last bit stings.

Liftoff: What makes you happy?

Nick: My wife and son have taught me that there’s a level of happiness floating out there in the ether that’s impossible to conceive of unless you’re in it.

Helping people is the reason I breathe. I want to help everyone with everything all the time. It’s landed me in some real jams. That’s not a joke.

Liftoff: What should the Liftoff community know about you?

Nick: I’m a musician. I’m absolutely certain I won’t be a star someday.

Another thing- I like you just the way you are. You make every day a special day by just your being you. Those aren’t jokes, either. With every person, in every encounter, I want to always be kind. Sometimes I fail at that. Sometimes you do, too. Let’s just keep being kinder after every stumble, and I think we’ll be okay.

Also, bring me Netarts Bay oysters and Willamette raspberries, and I’m yours. If you know, you know.



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