Eliminating Hero Culture on our Engineering Teams


Duration: 25 mins
Brianna McCullough
Infrastructure Program Manager, Google

Hero Culture can be found within any company dominated by employees that are constantly rewarded for going the extra mile, or in other words, dominated by “midnight developers”.

The main problem with hero culture is the fact that it promotes overworking and it puts other amazing employees who are not in the position to overwork at a disadvantage (think: parents, students, etc.). Heroes do not generally develop other team members’ skills or share valuable experience and insights, this cultural behavior is dangerous and damaging as the company cannot scale without their input. You might know of some hero’s who tend to never document their work or code simply because they want to be the “go-to” person. They know they’ll always be of value because of what they know alone.

In this talk we will discuss how to undo hero culture and how to empower our current hero’s on teams to be team players and most importantly—understanding that teamwork is a marathon and not a race. We can go further together, let’s talk about how.

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