Introducing Google Season of Docs

Introducing Google Season of Docs

Google believes that open source is good for everyone. By being open and freely available, it enables and encourages collaboration, development of technology and solving real-world problems.

Over the years, Google has created a healthy ecosystem for the sustainability of open source for all via its several communities

Beyond the open-source software we directly use and release at Google, we also work to support the sustainability of open source organizations and communities. Many of these efforts are focused on introducing new people to open source. — Google

Some of these communities include:

Google Summer of Code aims to bring new contributors into the open-source community by providing an opportunity for university students to spend their summer working on open source. Students are paired with a mentor from a participating organization to help them along the way. Many become lifetime contributors! Read more

Google Code-in is a global online contest introducing teenagers to the world of open source. By completing bite-sized tasks, students earn prizes including a grand prize trip to Google headquarters in California. Experienced open source contributors provide mentorship and guidance making it easy for beginners to jump in and get acquainted with open source. Read more

  • Google Affiliations

Google also participates in and supports numerous open-source organizations and events throughout the community. Ranging from small grassroots efforts to established foundations, these organizations play a critical role in the world of open source. View all affiliations

Behold Season of Docs!

March 11, 2019, Google announced the birth of a new community in a blog post towards sustaining and supporting Open Source across the globe.

This new program is called Google Season of Docs

Google Season of Docs is a program aimed at fostering the open-source contributions of technical writers.

Just like Google Summer of Code and Google Code-In, Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects across the globe together to work on open-source documentation. The most exciting part is, this is the first time GSoD is happening.

Documentation is very important in Open Source, there is no Open Source Software without documentation and this is why Google is launching this program to raise awareness of open source, of docs, and of technical writing.

How does it work?

The program includes three entities:

  • Technical Writers
  • Open Source Organizations
  • Mentors

Technical Writers

During Season of Docs, technical writers will spend a few months working closely with open source organizations alongside mentors. Each writer works on an open-source project chosen from the organization's list of projects or proposed by the writer. The writers bring their expertise to the projects’ documentation while at the same time learning about open source and new technologies.

Open Source Organizations

Open Source Organizations across the globe like Open source Community Africa and OpenCollective applies to join the program and provides some project ideas based on their documentation needs, then work with technical writers to build and improve their entire documentation system. Complete Organization list here


Members of each Open Source Organization like Alanna Irving take part in Season of Docs as mentors for technical writers. Mentors introduce technical writers to their community and help them to use the project’s tools and understand the product. Full mentors guide here

Who Can Apply?

To participate in Season of Docs as a technical writer, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old at the time of registration.
  • Able to demonstrate prior technical writing experience by submitting role descriptions and work samples.
  • Eligible to work in their country of residence during the duration of the program.
  • A resident of a country not currently embargoed by the United States. See the Sanctions Programs and Country Information from the US Treasury.

See the full technical writer terms. (Source: GSoD docs)

How do I apply?

Applying to GSoD is quite straightforward. All you have to do is to:

  • Find an Open Source Organization from the list of participants that interests you
  • Explore their project ideas (If none suits you, you can propose your own idea)
  • Discuss project ideas with mentoring organizations (This can be done via email or the organization’s Slack)
  • Submit your proposals
  • Get approved by Google and bingo you’re in :)

What do I stand to gain?

  • Add more skills to your resume
  • Improve your technical writing skills whilst working on a large scale documentation
  • Receive Stipends
  • Get a better chance when applying to Open Source Organizations
  • Get a better chance when applying to Google
  • Chance to become a mentor in the next rounds of GSoD

Timeline for Season of Docs 2019

Source GSoD Timeline

All dates are in [UTC ( time zone.

Useful Resources!

Applying and exploring during GSoD can be tedious and confusing, but if you read the guides, you’ll do just fine.

Below are very important links to follow before you begin your application


Participating Open Source Organizations have been announced and the current phase is Technical Writers Exploration (See timeline for more). Ensure you read the guides and follow all instructions and you sure will get accepted!

Let’s bring open-source and technical writer communities together, to the benefit of both. Together we raise awareness of open source, docs, and of technical writing.