Hello World: The Film

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Feature

Documentary, Other

Shawn Wildermuth

4 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,493 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

147 supporters | followers

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Now that we're funded, you can still help us with Stretch Goals. See below for more information!

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

This film is delving into the problem of inclusion in software development. With the woeful under-representation of women and people of color, this is a story that needs to be told. It's the only way to improve the situation.

The Story

Software runs much of our lives. Our phones, cars, TVs, watches, and even our appliances are controlled through software. Whether it's Facebook, your in-car navigation, the thermostat in your house, or even the stop-lights on the corner; they all contain code that makes them continue to work every day. Code that you don't notice or even think about. An army of software developers are behind keeping the world working as you know it. 


This film explains what code is, the people who build software, and why these interesting people dedicate their lives to code and coding.  


While we think the subject might interest people in the software business, the film's focus is demystifying software development for non-tech folks. We believe this film is of general interest to anyone that uses code in their daily lives, but may be of additional interest to those who have family, friends, and co-workers in the tech field. 


The film is specifically avoiding the terse, acronym language of technology to explain how code works, why coders love what they do, and how the environment around software development can be made better. 


Stretch Goals:

Now that we're funded, we still have more things to pay for. So please continue to help us reach our goals:


$16,000 Total: Film Editor

$18,000 Total: Post Production Colorist

$20,000 Total: Sound Designer


Additional goal, if $20,000 is met (as suggested by Michael Szul @szul), i'll include a montage of embarassing photos of my early geeky life.

Who's in the Film?

This documentary film will talk about software developers in their own voices. These workers are unlike most others in today’s economy. Software developers come from a wide range of backgrounds and educations. They have a passion for that work that most people do not understand. This film aims to try and explain why software development so different from other industries. 


While the list of interviews is not complete, we've either interviewed or planned to interview a range of coders, researchers, and educators including:


  • John Romero (co-founder of id Software)
  • Maria Klawe (President of Harvey Mudd College)
  • Richard Campbell (Co-host of .NET Rocks Podcast)
  • Carl Franklin (Co-host of .NET Rocks Podcast)
  • Scott Hanselman (Coder, Blogger, Teacher, Speaker, Author)  
  • Chris Sells (Author and Speaker)
  • Ted Neward (The Dude of Software Development)
  • Barry Dorrans (Security Dude and World-Class Cynic)
  • Deborah Kurata (Independent Consultant and Author)
  • Julie Lerman (Mentor and Author)
  • Glenn Block (Coder and Product Visionary)
  • John Papa (Author and Evangelist)
  • Phil Haack (Open Source Advocate)
  • James Chambers (Open Source Advocate)
  • Donna Malayeri (Product Manager)
  • Joe Ficara (Coder and Teacher)
  • Kesha Williams (Coder and Speaker)
  • Sara Chipps (Visionary)
  • And more...

Why I'm Making This Movie 

Back in the early ‘80s I begged my mother and grandmother to help me get my first computer. When that Vic-20 arrived, I was mesmerized and spent my days and nights trying to get it to do what I wanted it to. This thirty year love affair continues today. From my first job, I noticed that many software people were just like me: passionate, awkward, and workaholic.

For many of the past twenty of those thirty years, I’ve been trying to turn my passion into story. After writing books, creating courses, recording seminars and speaking at international conferences, I've realized that telling stories is what I've always wanted to do. Being able to tell this story to non-technical people is the goal of this film.

The story of software developers is complex. It includes not only each developer’s stories, but also the history of the industry as well as the cultural problem in which the industry finds itself. The lack of women and people of color in both coding jobs and management positions, means that the industry might be in trouble unless something changes. That’s why I’m making HELLO WORLD.



We have a teaser for the film. You can see it here:


Film Structure

Code is everywhere. Every phone call you make, every website you visit, and even every car you drive has software powering it. For many people, code looks like the falling letters in The Matrix or what they see on CSI. But writing code is both simpler and more interesting than that. The film will show you why.

HELLO WORLD is a film that means to answer three questions: what is code; who are coders; and how is coding different from other careers. The film starts by exploring where code is and what it actually takes to make machines do what we want them to do. By demystifying the job of programming, HELLO WORLD hopes to entice and educate.

Behind all of this software are coders, computer programmers, and engineers. These people are passionate, smart, and sometimes lacking social graces. Being a software developer has undergone several major changes and by letting developers tell their stories, HELLO WORLD will explore who coders really are.  

In addition, the film will dive into the lack of diversity inside the industry. Women and people of color had such an important roles in the creation of the industry but now they are a minority of the developers working today. The film will explore the uneasy state of technology culture today. By going back to its origins, the film will find out where all the women and people of color went. The hope is to provide some possible solutions to improving this disparity.




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Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Director of Photography

Costs $6,000

If you want to get the right look, you need a great Director of Photography.


Costs $3,000

Composer to score the film. If composer isn't available, this will be used to purchase stock music.

Travel Expenses for Interviews

Costs $3,500

Interviews are around the US and one in Ireland. We need airfare and hotel for Director and DP.

About This Team

The Team

Shawn Wildermuth, Director/Producer


HELLO WORLD is Shawn's debut feature-length documentary. It's the perfect vehicle for him to tell the story of the world he's spent over thirty years exploring. He's been tinkering with computers and software since he got a Vic-20 back in the early '80s. He's authored eight books and innumerable articles on software development. You can reach him at his blog at http://wildermuth.com. He released his first short documentary about his neighborhoodwhich you can see on YouTube.  


Randy Hill – Editor

Randy Hill is an editor and filmmaker whose career has spanned over 20 years. He produced his first feature while working on a degree in Film at Georgia State University. Since then, he has shot & edited features, narrative, and documentary shorts and long-form documentary and reality television, including the Emmy-winning Public Television series, “Ecosense for Living”.    


Lou Creech, Camera Operator


Lou is a native of South Carolina, but now calls Denver, Colorado home. She holds a BA in Art and Environmental Studies and also attended the Carolina Film Institute for Film Studies. She has worked in production as a coordinator and key production assistant, while also producing her own short films and documentaries. She believes everyone has a story to tell and is thrilled to be a part of HELLO WORLD! When she's not behind the camera, you'll find her working in non-profit food access, playing Roller Derby with the alter ego, Ludakiss, or exploring the Rocky Mountains.


Peggy Still Johnson - Music Supervisor/Composer


Peggy Still Johnson is a film composer, performing artist, casting agent and coach, Peggy has worked on projects such as “Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Parental Guidance,” “Bessie”, “Requiem for Herstory,” “Sugar on the Tip of My Lips,” “America’s Got Talent,” to name a few

Current Team