Google Season of Docs

This is the inaugural year of Google Season of Docs:

More details are available in this forum post. The short version is that its basically Google Summer of Code but for documentation.

Do we have any plans to participate?

I would have loved to be a mentor for ODKX Docs but I am already participating in GSoC. I know we have plenty of opportunity for a project. @elmps2018, you have contributed documentation in the past, is this something you would want to participate in?

cc @LN and @yanokwa because you have administered GSoC.

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This looks like it would be a great opportunity!

I would be happy to help on the content-needing-documentation side and reading content. However, I should note that I still have not figured out how to actually add to the docs with all the coding that entails, so do not feel qualified to be the technical part of mentoring. If a mentor team can be established with someone (not me!) who has a good grasp of the technical side of things I would be happy to team :slight_smile:

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Thanks for posting this, Jeff! I'm planning on mentoring and recruiting some back up mentors (hi @adammichaelwood and @Jaredbhatti) to work on the ODK docs.


I heard my name!

I will be happy to help out as a mentor for this.

(I work at Google now, BTW, so I think I can swing some 20% time for it.
Though - I'm on the TensorFlow team and I think we are planning to participate also.)

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Great! I'm excited for this!

@elmps2018 I'm sure we can find you a technical buddy. I'll add it to the agenda for our next call. I'd be happy to help train someone up in that area as well. I would love to co-mentor but I hesitate to make a time commitment that would overlap GSoC.

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@elmps2018 at the most recent TSC 2 meeting we discussed this and @bengreen and @W_Brunette both volunteered to help out.

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Fabulous! So contemplating the timeline it looks like we need to do an application by April 23. Do we need one app for the all of us? How shall we coordinate this across, if I am tracking right, @yanokwa, @adammichaelwood, @Jaredbhatti, @bengreen and @W_Brunette? What has worked well in the past for coordinating applications? Does anyone have a past app they can share as a model?


This looks like it will be a great program!

Since I'm not involved in GSoC this year, I could be involved in this initiative if helpful.

Here is a past GSoC application. We've previously used a forum thread like this one to brainstorm project ideas and build up the application.


For GSoD, we will need two org admins and can request up to two technical writers and each writer needs two mentors. My plan is that each suite gets one technical writer and thus has to provide two mentors.

@LN and I will be org co-admins and co-mentors for the ODK docs. I will take the lead on filling in the org details and making sure we meet the various deadlines. @LN will take the lead on being a mentor.

From the TSC 2 agenda, it looks like @elmps2018, @W_Brunette, @bengreen, and maybe @Jeff_Beorse can mentor for ODK-X docs. I'll leave it y'all to decide who will be the lead mentor.

The next steps are:

  1. All mentors must fill in the 2019 GSoD Mentor Registration by April 12th.
    • Please use Open Data Kit as the name and as the project website so Google can more easily find your registration.
  2. Mentors must write up their project ideas in this Project Ideas doc by April 12th.
  3. Org admins will provide review of the project ideas by April 16th. Changes must be made by April 19th.

If we have a good set of project ideas and mentors by April 19th, I'll proceed with the application. If we don't, I won't proceed. Does that plan sound reasonable?

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Sounds good to me! If anyone else wants to be an org admin, I'm happy to do it but also don't feel a burning desire to. :wink:

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Sounds good to me @yanokwa, thanks for laying it out so clearly.

I don't feel quite knowledgeable enough to be lead mentor, but will happily be a co-mentor and will take on the Admin role if that's helpful.

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Happy to spread the love and have you as org admin! In all likelihood there won't be a ton to do unless projects get derailed somehow which feels less likely in a docs context. Will be good to have someone in an opposite timezone so there can truly be org admin coverage around the clock!

@yanokwa, please invite @bengreen to register as org admin.


Thanks @LN – i'll try to help out where I can!


Updates: Just registered as a mentor! @bengreen and I will be co-mentors if that works (does one of us need to be designated as lead? If so we can sort that out) and @W_Brunette and @Jeff_Beorse will provide extra support as needed.

We had some brainstorming on our call today that I added as cryptic notes to the project ideas doc, to be improved. @Raquel_Bernedo, did you have some features documentation you were working on already that might be good to add there?

Hi @elmps2018

Thanks for the update!

Regarding this, we are working on it, at the moment we have ODK Tables and ODK Services, still working on the others. Could this help or should we wait until we have the complete picture? Knowing, that it will be an alive documentation...


Have now turned notes in Project Ideas into actual paragraphs, essentially two concepts: (1) documenting all the features and customizability (I think this warps in some specifics that we had identified on our call as well as furthering @berpita's work) and (2) making the documentation for Sync Endpoint more streamlined and user friendly.

I also want to note that the two items currently developed under ODK Docs Project Ideas are ones that I think are very true for both ODK and ODK-X; I especially love the idea of making it easier for folks (like, say, me!) to contribute to the docs. The technology has so far outsmarted me.

As promised, @LN and I have reviewed the project ideas and it's looking pretty good.

@bengreen @elmps2018 We combined your two ideas into one to match the format the GSoD called for. Take a look when you get a chance and tweak as necessary before April 19th.

I've sent a reminder for myself to submit the application on April 22nd (a day before it's due).


Looks great to me! Thanks @yanokwa and @LN for reviewing and fixing to actually follow the instructions! @yanokwa thanks for tackling submission!

Good news from the GSoD team!

Congratulations! Your organization’s application for Season of Docs has been accepted.

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm for Season of Docs. We received nearly 200 organization applications! There were many high quality applications, so the selection of organizations was not easy. You are 1 of 50 open source organizations chosen to participate in the inaugural year of this program.

To kick things off, I've written up welcome message at Welcome GSoD 2019 applicants! which will be going out on social media in a few days.