Right before a release, the “Hero” finds some critical defect and makes a diving catch to save the day.
More formally, Heroing is the reoccurring tendency to fix other people’s work at the last minute.
Regular Heroing leads to the creation of unhealthy dynamics within the team or otherwise encourages undisciplined programming.
Some team members even learn to expect them to jump in on every release.
Heroing can be a symptom of poor delegation or micro-management.
It also points to trust issues on a number of levels.
The Hero will ultimately undermine growth by short-circuiting feedback loops and,
over time, can foster uncertainty and self-doubt in otherwise strong engineers.
At its worst, the Hero feeds a culture of laziness: everyone knows the Hero will “fix” the work anyway so why bother.
Ironically, those last-minute fixes are the genesis of a lot of technical debt.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE ITE
They may be self-merging PRs, or they will show very low Receptiveness in the review process.
WHAT TO DO
- Work toward regular team members commits, to get the Hero’s feedback early.
- Coach the Hero to turn their ‘fixes’ into actionable feedback for their teammates.