Review: Softwaring Hard – a film about the world of software, by Alex Pop

If you can still place any belief in the notion that we know everything about the things that impact our daily lives, let’s think again. We know less and less about the food we eat, about the cars we drive, or about the houses we live in.

And, as ubiquitous as it may be, we know practically nothing about software, the lifeblood of our ever expanding computing universe.

Cue in Alex Pop – a young film maker of Romanian origin from Montreal – and his debut feature SOFTWARING HARD (2014; 82 minutes; film’s website; film on IMDb).

softwaring hard

The film’s title is a hint on how deep and dark our knowledge gap is when it comes to software. Alex’s approach is far from dark, but thorough and playful. He sets up a global focus group (interviews in 15 cities, in 13 countries on 6 continents!):  a congregation of virtually clueless software users, complemented by professionals from the software industry. And then he starts firing questions

Humor ensues, as in the example below, where regular software users (among them beautiful actresses Aliona Munteanu , Evalina Turpin and  Lisa Di Capa) give it a shot in trying to explain acronyms used in software projects.

And then it’s the “global” factor!

Alex’s film covers not only well known areas for software development (such as North America and India), but takes us to South America (where software, philosophy and life are intertwined), or to a remote corner of Australia, where seemingly people don’t drop the house’s baby kangaroo from their lap even when giving interviews.

It’s a documentary that any of us can watch, if only for its entertaining values.

But there are lessons to be learned by those of us working in IT.

And ultimately there’s the universal lesson that if you’re in the dark about a subject, just put a smile on your face and ask: help is everywhere.

**

Rent of buy SOFTWARING HARD:

Rent on Distrify

Rent or download on ReelHouse

Alex Pop on LinkedIn

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