As a company, Google contributes to open source by releasing code and tools to the community, as well as supporting various projects. Its latest is called “Season of Docs” and is aimed at bringing together technical writers and open source projects to work on documentation.
This project is aimed at tackling the lack of good support and introductory text in open source communities given how “creating documentation is hard.”
There are people who know how to do docs well. Technical writers know how to structure a documentation site so that people can find and understand the content. They know how to write docs that fit the needs of their audience. Technical writers can also help optimize a community’s processes for open source contribution and on-boarding new contributors.
Season of Docs starts next month with a call for open source organizations to apply and take part. By April 30th, Google will publish a list of accepted mentoring organizations and ideas for documentation projects.
Afterwards, technical writers that have applied and been vetted can choose what projects they want to work on for the next three months after submitting proposals. Accepted technical writer projects are announced in July, with writers first getting to know their open source community.
Work starts September 2nd and ends on November 29th, with Google announcing the list of successfully completed projects on December 10th.
The obvious benefit will be to open source communities getting new docs that help expand their projects. Writers can pick up expertise about new technologies when working with Season of Docs. The full requirements and applications for both parties, including open source mentors, are available here.
Mentors from participating open source organizations share knowledge of their communities’ processes and tools. Together the technical writers and mentors build a new doc set, improve the structure of the existing docs, develop a much-needed tutorial, or improve contribution processes and guides.