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New Google Program Applies Technical Writers to Open Source Documentation

Google yesterday announced a new program, Seasons of Docs, that aims to make a substantive contribution to open source software development. The eight-month project will assemble a team of technical writers to work on improving documentation development for various open source projects.

Google yesterday announced a new program, Seasons of Docs, that aims to make a substantive contribution to open source software development. The eight-month project will assemble a team of technical writers to work on improving documentation development for various open source projects.

A well-written open source documentation set usually includes installation guides, user guides, white papers, FAQs, and more; and is the go-to guide that enables users to effectively access and work with a particular software. Although the creation of such documentations has typically been something of an afterthought in the greater software development process, Google determined through its Open Source Survey that there is a strong demand for clear and comprehensive open source documentation.

Experienced technical writers are among the few people capable of building a documentation site that features ease-of-access and clearly presented content to meet the demands of software users. Over the course of the program, qualified technical writers will work on their chosen open source project, leverage their expertise to improve project documentation, and also learn about open source and new technologies.

The program timeline will proceed as follows:

  • April 2-23: Open source organizations apply to take part in Season of Docs.
  • April 30: Google publishes the list of accepted mentoring organizations, along with their ideas for documentation projects.
  • April 30 – June 28: Technical writers choose the project they’d like to work on and submit their proposals to Season of Docs.
  • July 30: Google announces the accepted technical writer projects.
  • August 1 – September 1: Community bonding — technical writers get to know mentors and the open source community, and refine their projects in collaboration with their mentors.
  • September 2 – November 29: Technical writers work with open source mentors on the accepted projects, and submit their work at the end of the period.
  • December 10: Google publishes the list of successfully completed projects.

See the complete program timeline for more details. Visit here to learn more about joining the program.


Author: Jessie Geng | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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