Blake Helms

Blake Helms is a Software Development Manager for EBSCO Industries, a global company with businesses in a range of industries including Information Services, Publishing and Digital Media, Outdoor Products, Real Estate, Manufacturing and Distribution, and Business Services, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

There he is responsible for several core business applications and has been a driver for software craftsmanship and creating a culture that promotes mentorship and continuous improvement.

Blake is incredibly passionate about technology in all areas from writing code for work, to audio/video production for his church to automating his home.

All Post by Blake Helms

Meritocratic Ownership of Source Code: A Proposal

Recently, a coworker and I were discussing “Inner-sourcing.” Inner-sourcing is when a company utilizes open source principles and practices within the company. One thing we were lamenting was that even as our company works to implement Inner-sourcing, repos are still tied to teams and thus their bandwidth is a limiting factor.

Blake Helms Nov 20, 2019

Good Will Equity

You may be asking yourself right now, “What is Good Will Equity?” The simple definition is that Good Will Equity is an imaginary account that everyone has internally that is either deposited into or withdrawn from when asked to do things by their employer.

Blake Helms Nov 20, 2019

Failure IS an Option

Gene Kranz was a NASA Flight Director who served from the first days of the Mercury missions all the way into the Space Shuttle era. He was immortalized in the cinematic depiction of the real life events of “Apollo 13.” In it, Kranz, played by Ed Harris 1 utters one of the most memorable lines in the movie, “Failure is NOT an option” and when the stakes are the lives of the 3 men in the badly damaged command module I can certainly not disagree. However, for many of us the stakes are much lower. Most of the software we write is not tied to orbiting space craft, nuclear warheads or medical life support hardware 2 and thus failure IS and SHOULD be an option.

  1. A truly masterful performance. How he didn’t win an Oscar; I will never understand. 

Blake Helms Nov 20, 2019

What Can Wilt Chamberlain’s Free Throws Teach Us About Software Development?

Wilt Chamberlain was the greatest basketball player who ever lived. His most notable achievement (in basketball at least) was in 1962, while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors he scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, a record that still stands today. Even more impressive that night was that Chamberlain, a player known for being a terrible free throw shooter, made 28 out of 32 free throws. The story of this game was recently discussed on the excellent “Revisionist History” podcast. In the episode, Malcolm Gladwell recounts how Chamberlain had switched free throw techniques and began shooting his free throws underhanded (sometimes known as a “Granny Shot“). Suddenly, Chamberlain went from a terrible free throw shooter to one of the best. He was now UNSTOPPABLE!

Blake Helms Nov 20, 2019