After reading Alex Payne’s post on heroism (Don’t Be A Hero) I have to say I was a little irked. I disagree somewhat on the details of what defines a hero in this context and that seems to be the crux of my discomfort. I don’t think hero’s have to work until four in the morning. Nor do I think a hero creates inherently lower quality software. A hero is someone so dedicated and passionate about what they are doing that they are willing to work hard and deliver when other people are not (and for some people, what they are passionate about is not low-quality “feature work”). For some “heros” this becomes late nights, for others early mornings, and for still others it’s a during the day activity with no extra time. I’ll be honest, that last case is pretty rare, because the passionate usually see time as flexible and success as a rigid goal.
I was never really sure how to some up my feelings on the post until last night. Oddly, it was the Eye of The Tiger scene in Persepolis that enlightened me. I’ve seen Rocky many times – and even once in the last few weeks – but somehow seeing that well-worn scene re-used highlighted my feelings. What’s great about Rocky is that it gives me a way to sum up not just The Hero, but also the personalities that often surround them.