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$6,720 pledged of $25,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Shawn Wildermuth
$6,720 pledged of $25,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

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.  

Audience

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. 

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.

Teaser

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.

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 neighborhood which you can see on YouTube.  

Lou Creech, Director of Photography:

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.

Distribution Plans

Our plan is to take the film, once completed, to a number of key film festivals, both documentary-only festivals and larger film festivals around the world. The goal there is to meet with distribution partners to get as wide of an audience as possible. This means trying to get the film seen on Netflix, HBO, Amazon, or similar services. 

If you like what we're doing, please join us in making this happen or share this project with your friends, family, and co-workers. It all helps!

Rewards

Many of the reward levels from with either a sticker or a t-shirt. Here's what they'll look like:

T-Shirt:

 Sticker: 

 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk of the project is getting access to the important people who can make this film. By showing that I have an audience through this Kickstarter, I'm hoping to lure the likes of Melinda Gates, Margaret Hamilton, and John Carmack to talk to me on film. The film will be made without these people if necessary, but your support would help me ensure that everyone that has an important story to tell can tell it.

This project is a priority to me and except for my job creating courses for Pluralsight, it is my #1 priority. There are risks in completing the project, but those risks are more about finding the right production company to complete the film and getting it into the right hands by taking to film festivals so that it can be distributed widely (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, etc.).

Join me in helping bring our story to light!

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    The Inner Circle

    If you want to help me make this dream a reality, join the inner circle. You'll get quarterly updates on the film including access to select dailies of the film in progress. In addition, you'll be mentioned on a special place both on the website and in the actual film as Inner Circle supporters. You'll also get the entire list of goodies!

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    Private Screening

    If you want to show the film to your group, gathering or company, we'll come anywhere in the United States and Canada and screen the film with a Q&A with the Director (Shawn Wildermuth).

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    Biggest Fan

    Finally, if you're my biggest fan and really want this to happen, then pick this reward and I'll mention it on the website, in the credits of the movie and include all the goodies.

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