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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 it’s not that inscrutable. By demystifying the profession, the film encourages people from every background into joining this profession.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Available now, the soundtrack to the "Hello World" film is a collection of music and songs that were specifically written for the film. The composer, Peggy Still-Johnson, is an accomplished composer and musician. She and her team have put together a great set of music for the film.
The soundtrack is available on the following platforms:
I want to personally thank every supporter who helped me make the film. Below is a list of the supporters of the film: