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.

You may also be interested in

25 mins
ML Platform Challenges and Applications at Freshworks

In this talk, we will start by describing the three major challenges faced by the Machine Learning team at Freshworks....

50 mins
Affective Computing – Bringing Humans & Machines Closer through Emotions

Research has shown that emotions play an integral role in decision making, cognition, perception, learning and more. If we want...

50 mins
Introduction to Data Streaming

While software is eating the world, those who are able to manage the huge mass of data will emerge out...

25 mins
AI Powered Root Cause Analysis for Production Alerts

At PayPal, SRE team troubleshoots production alerts (from ~2500 applications and services). There is always an inherent urgency in resolving...

25 mins
Machine Learning Attacks – A New Era of Security Epidemic

Machine learning is increasingly being used at the core of several critical applications, such as for self-driving cars, drug recommendation...

180 mins
Leveraging Kubernetes for Machine Learning

With the advent of containers, Kubernetes evolved as the defacto orchestration solution to coordinate hundreds of containers at scale across...