Google Announces Season Of Docs 2020
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 07 April 2020

The window for applications for Google's Season of Docs 2020 is approaching, and mentoring organizations will be able to begin submitting applications to Google from April 13. Season of Docs is a project supported by Google that aims to bring open source organizations and technical writers together.

By pairing up technical writers and open source projects, Google hopes to improve the quality of open source documentation. From the other side, the aim is to give technical writers an opportunity to gain experience in contributing to open source projects and to learn about open source code.



The thinking behind the scheme is that many developers are put off using open source software because of poor documentation; Google says their research found that 93% of surveyed developers say “Incomplete or outdated documentation is a pervasive problem” in open source software, and that lack of documentation was the top reason given by developers for deciding against using an open source project.

In a successful Season of Docs project the technical writers and mentors work together to build a new doc set, improve the structure of the existing docs, develop a tutorial, or improve contribution processes and guides. The incentives to take part come in the form of Google paying the technical writers a stipend, and organizations can also receive a $500 USD stipend per technical writer mentored.

The first Season of Docs was held last year, and resulted in 44 successful documentation projects. Feedback from the participants was also very encouraging:


  • 91.7% of the mentors had a positive experience and want to mentor again in future Season of Docs cycles
  • 88% of the technical writers had a positive experience
  • 96% plan to continue contributing to open source projects
  • 100% of the technical writers said that Season of Docs helped improved their knowledge of code and/or open source


Among the successful projects last year were updates to the documentation for Apache Airflow and Cassandra, work on the LibreOffice online guide, and a beginners guide to NumPy. Other projects documented the third party libraries for Arduino, created a beginners tutorial for PostgreSQL, and getting started documentation for people wanting to access Ensembl data via the REST API.


More Information

Season Of Docs

Related Articles

Wanted! Technical Writers!

Season Of Docs Opens

Getting Ready For Google Summer of Code 2020

Why Take Part In Open Source?


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 April 2020 )