How to crack Google season of docs 2022 application stage

Nwokocha Wisdom Maduabuchi
6 min readApr 18, 2022

According to Google, Season of Docs supports open-source projects to improve their documentation and allows professional technical writers to gain experience in open source.

Together, we raise awareness of open source, docs, and technical writing.

This program is essential in bringing writers to the open-source world and also supporting open-source organizations to develop their docs; as an experienced technical writer, this program will help you understand the following:

  • Help you understand how to contribute to open source.
  • Help you connect with open source enthusiast
  • Help you understand the importance of open-source
  • You get a stipend while gaining more experience
  • Connect you with open-source organizations

This article will walk you through cracking the season of the docs application process in 2022.

From my experience as a season of docs Technical Writer for Gnome Foundation in 2020, the application process is different because I applied through the Google team and was reviewed by them. But now, you apply to the organization directly.

The points below will help you get accepted into one of the organizations.

  1. Have technical writing experience or written articles/projects
  2. Have experience building documentation using static site generators
  3. Read about the company and follow up with the mentor
  4. Join their Community channel
  5. Have technical experience in the organization’s tool
  6. Pray to God 🙏

To see the list of accepted organizations, visit this link

Have technical writing experience or written articles/projects

This point is significant to the accepted organizations because they need an experienced technical writer to help them improve their docs and make them easier to maintain. It will be difficult for organizations to accept a total beginner because that will require them to start teaching you the basics.

If you want to be accepted as a technical writer without working experience, see the points below.

  • Have written articles on medium, Dev.to or Hashnode
  • Have open source contributions either on Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket
  • Have docs as code experience, as most organizations use it.
  • Have your documentation hosted on Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket

Have experience building documentation using static site generators

You might be wondering what a static site generator is; a static website generator is a simple markup that uses a language like Markdown or HTML, data (in JSON, YAML, or TOML format), and templates. Then, it combines them with tools like Handlebars, Liquid, or Nunjucks to generate the pages of a website.

Most organizations in Google’s season of docs use static site generators to build their documentation site, so they will expect you to know it. Mautic project is an example of one organization that uses doc as code to build documentation. If you check the link above, you will find that they use sphinx for documentation.

It will be beneficial if you know how to build a simple static site generator and host it for live testing.

Visit this link to learn how to build a simple static site generator using 11ty.

Read about the company and follow up with the mentor

Some organizations drop their mentor email or Slack or Discord username, making it easy to reach out to them. To make the mentor see you as a potential technical writer, you will have to do the following:

  • Read about the organization and the project.
  • Understand what they are building.
  • Build a sample project with their tool.
  • Spot areas to modify in their projects with details on how you will carry it out.
  • Don’t bug them with messages.

The points above will make the mentor know you, and that’s a good thing 😉.

Note: Make sure your Writer’s profile is good-looking because they will likely check you out if they think you are a potential technical writer.

Join their Community channel

Some organizations allow you to join their community channels like Discord or Slack, enabling them to communicate easily with the applicants. As an applicant, you need to stand out among the crowd by doing the following:

  • Start using their project and let it know to them
  • Helping other applicants solve issues concerning their project and other issues
  • Always be active by answering questions and raising questions too
  • Be the goto person in regards to the organization’s project
  • Observe Community rules
  • Also, join other technical writing communities where you can learn more about writing tech-related content, I will suggest https://technicalwritingmp.com/

Pray to God 🙏

Pray to God for his Grace to be accepted among others because sometimes organizations accept technical writers with little or no experience.

1 Corinthians 15:10

How to apply

You send a statement of interest to the respective organizations.

Step 1: Visit the Season Of Docs participant's page

Visit this link

Step 2: Select your preferred organization

Click on your preferred organization and search for the statement of interest section.

Example:

If you are a Technical Writer and you are interested to contribute to Casbin community for Google Season of Docs 2022, Please send your proposal (by following the template of writing the statement of interest from Google) to our mail at: admin@casbin.org , and then introduce yourself after joining our Casbin Gitter.im channel for connecting.

For more info about the example above, visit this link

Step 3: Add your information to their page

Some organizations require you to add your information on their page after ending your statement of interest.

An example is this link

According to Indeed.com, a statement of interest for a job is a simple, one-page letter usually sent to a hiring official that describes who you are, why you’re drawn to their company, and how you can benefit their team.

Note: Another name for a statement of interest is a cover letter.

The organizations require this from you to make the application process easier.

Example of statement of interest:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I’m excited to apply for the Technical Writer position. As an organized, focused, proactive, creative, and detail-oriented individual, I have a proven record of meeting deadlines and maintaining the communication chain to ensure that projects run smoothly. I have written and edited numerous technical documents, including:

  • White paper tutorials.
  • User manuals.
  • Developer guides.
  • Integration guides.
  • Troubleshooting guides.
  • Installation guides.
  • Changelog.
  • Release notes.
  • Source code documentation.
  • API documentation

In addition, I believe in my varied skills in designing doc sites using (Eleventy, Mkdocs, Docsify, Vuepress, Readme, Gitbook, Atlassian Confluence, Open API Spec, Hugo, DITA, Markdown, Asciidoc) and experience in open source technical writing / Software development would make me a great fit for this position.

At Nylas, I worked as a documentation developer contractor to plan, develop, and design their documentation site from scratch using Eleventy, Javascript, Rapidoc, and Algolia search. I focused primarily on document changes to ensure the electronic documentation was edited to reflect each software update. In addition, I coordinated projects with the executive team to ensure every task was completed and meetings went smoothly. As a result, I improved the turnaround time by an average of three days for each update.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing about the Technical writing position.

Samples of work done by me:

https://beginnerblockchain.netlify.app/

https://about.codecov.io/blog/code-coverage-for-android-development-using-kotlin-jacoco-github-actions-and-codecov/

https://geth.ethereum.org/docs/getting-started

https://wise4rmgodadmob.medium.com/how-to-tag-a-docker-image-on-codefresh-1d63709d9cdc

https://developer.nylas.com/

https://wise4rmgodadmob.medium.com/

https://wise4rmgod.github.io/Jetpack-Compose-Tutorial/

https://wise4rmgod.github.io/Firebase-Android-Tutorials/#/

API Documentation:

1) https://app.swaggerhub.com/apis-docs/wise4rmgod/DummyAPI/0.1

2) https://developer.nylas.com/docs/api/

My timezone: (GMT+1)

WriteTheDoc Member

My LinkedIn and Github profiles below

https://linkedin.com/in/wisdom-nwokocha-76212a77/

https://github.com/wise4rmgod?tab=repositories

Sincerely,

Nwokocha wisdom Maduabuchi

In the statement of interest, include projects/ articles that involve what the organization you are applying to is using.

Conclusion

Season of Docs 2022 projects are fantastic, and the organizations behind those projects are doing great. Working on any project will help you gain experience and connect with fabulous people.

Good luck to all the applicants. 🥳🥳🥳🥳🔔🔔🔔😍

Let’s connect on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Joklinztech
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wisdom-nwokocha-76212a77/
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGh4vu4cVz72cvgFG2QHnWQ

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Nwokocha Wisdom Maduabuchi

A software engineer with considerable experience in mobile development, native Android, and IOS development(Xcode), flutter dev, technical writing and community