Title Slide

A Film by Shawn Wildermuth

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Documentary Feature
Genre: Technology and Society
78 Minutes | USA | 2020


Shawn Wildermuth
Hello World Film, LLC
+1 404 227 3030 (Cell)

Website: helloworldfilm.com
Twitter: @helloworldfilm
IMDB: imdb.com/title/tt11590582


After over thirty years in software, I am now learning about my role in the lack of diversity and inclusion.


Women Pioneers The film delves into the history of software development that started as a woman-led industry but has evolved into a majority white male and Asian dominated industry. It tackles the tough topic of why women as well as black and latinx people don’t pursue software careers. By demystifying the profession, the film encourages people from every background into joining this generationally changing profession.


Phil Haack Code is everywhere. Every phone call you make, every website you visit, and even every car you drive has software powering it. Software development has been clocked in a cloud of magic that keeps most people out of the career. The film delves into the history of software development that started as a woman-led industry but has evolved into a majority white male and Asian dominated industry. It tackles the tough topic of why women as well as black and latinx people don’t pursue software careers. The film aims to shine a light on how amazing a career in software can be. The reality is that now is a great time to diversity the ranks of software development, not just for the typical social reasons, but also because it makes better software and can be a generational change for many.

Key Interviews

Maria Klawe Maria Klawe
A computer scientist and the fifth president of Harvey Mudd College. She was previously Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University as well as a former member of the board of directors at Microsoft.

Richard Campbell Richard Campbell
A Microsoft Regional Director and consultant to many international companies. Richard is also the co-host of several very popular podcasts including .NET Rocks and Run as Radio. He co-owns and organizes the Dev Intersection conferences as well as is a founder of the Humanitarian Toolbox charity.

Gary S. May Gary S. May
Chancellor of University of California, Davis and former Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering. Mr. May leads the most comprehensive campus in the University of California system, with four colleges and six professional schools that offer 104 undergraduate majors and 96 graduate and professional degrees.

Deborah Kurata Deborah Kurata
Deborah Kurata is an independent software consultant/developer specializing in Web and .NET development using Angular, VB.NET, and C#. She is also a Pluralsight author with seven courses to her name.

Production Notes

filming The film started with a simple question: “Why do people consider software so mystifying?” I wanted a film that was a love letter to the industry that has given me so much. But as I started filming, a lack of representation became obvious. Looking back at my own career, I realized that I had never worked with an American woman programmer and very few black or Latinx software developers. I realized that my experience wasn’t an aberration. I realized that instead of a love letter to the tech industry, I had to tell the story of my own role in lack of inclusion and diversity.

I pivoted the film to focus on the exploration of the industry’s lack of inclusion. This includes the history of software that started with eight key woman who wrote the first software, and encompasses the changes that led to it being so dominated by white, straight men. While the film is still steeped in my love for the coding, it is driven by the goal of encouraging women, black and Latinx representation.

By focusing on the wrongs of the past and the benefits of the future, I’m hopeful that the film will do its part to increase representation. It does this by telling several key stories. These include explaining the generationally changing benefits of being a software developer, telling the story of how lack of diversity not only makes for inequality but also has led to bad software design, as well as chronicling the changes that have to happen in primary and secondary education to make the industry more inviting.

During the process of making the film, we’ve been very lucky to have an encouraging community of people that have helped make it happen. This meant raising funds through a successful crowdfunding campaign and building an audience for the film. With this we were able to build a mailing list and get the word out via Twitter through our 20K+ followers. Adding to this we had two successful test screenings in Atlanta that helped my editor, Randy Hill, and I cut a lot of the fat that was left in the film. The finishing step was to work with Peggy Still Johnson’s excellent team to complete the sound design, soundtrack and theme song. I think the finished film is a result of putting together such a great, passionate group of people. I can’t thank them enough.

My hope is that the film fulfills the goal of making a difference even if it is just a small part of that change.

- Shawn Wildermuth, Director


Shawn Wildermuth


Shawn Wildermuth

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 in. 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 wildermuth.com. He released his first short documentary about his neighborhood which you can see on YouTube.

Lou Creech


Randy Hill

Randy Hill is a 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".

Peggy Still Johnson

Music Supervisor/Composer

Peggy Still Johnson

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 and has worked with artists such as T Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp, MoNique, Mickey Thomas, Larkin Poe, Joe Gransden, Dean Roland of Collective Soul, Justin Guarino, Tuk Smith of The Biters, writer Stephen King and more.

Message From the Director

Young Shawn 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 learned to love the art of the story and making a documentary is an extension of that.

As I started the journey to make a love letter to the industry that I love, I realized through other developer's stories that I had a part in the lack of inclusion and diversity in my industry. I pivoted the story to delve into problem of lack of representation in software development. I went back to the first coders (all of whom were women), and bring the history forward to try and understand why the representation of American women as well as black and latinx coders is so lacking.

Understanding my role as well as that of American society is key to making a difference in the diversity of the industry. I talk with developers, leaders, and educators to help understand how to make change the course we're on. That’s why I’m making HELLO WORLD.

Additional Credits


Jake Dan Attis
Glenn Block
Donovan Brown
Travis Brown
Laurent Bugnion
Richard Campbell
James Chambers
Barry Dorrans
Barbara Ericson
Joseph Ficara
Jeff Gray
Philip Haack
Ran Libeskind-Hadas
Scott Hanselman
Maria Klawe
Deborah Kurata
Lori Lalonde
David Laribee
Julie Lerman
Colleen Lewis
Jesse Liberty
Jeremy Likness
Ashleigh Lodge
D'Arcy Lussier
Donna Malayeri
Gary S. May
Ted Neward
Cecil Philips
Matthew Renze
Brenda Romero
John Romero
Chris Sells
Sheila Shahpari
Richard Taylor
Doug Ware
Heather Wilde
Kesha Williams

Music and Sound Supervision
Sound Design, Sound Effects and Final Mix
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Additional Footage by
Motion Graphics
Motion Graphics
Concept Artist
Peggy Still Johnson
Nev Walker
Diane Durrett
Melissa Massey
Lou Creech
Caitlyn Lamas
Raven Kolomeitsev
Alex Bente
Taylor Lalonde
HaloUnion LLC
Ge J.
Devin Wells