Welcome GSoD 2019 applicants!

Open Data Kit is participating in Google Season of Docs this season! GSoD fosters collaboration between open source projects and technical writers. It's happening for the first time in 2019 and Open Data Kit is participating. Please read through this post carefully to learn how to get started.

Open Data Kit
Open Data Kit is a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions. Data collection is a key component of social good efforts ranging from polio elimination to rainforest conservation and our tools help thousands of organizations (e.g., Red Cross, World Health Organization, Gates Foundation, the Carter Center) collect data quickly, accurately, offline, and at scale.

Over the last year, we worked with a technical writer and some great contributors to migrate project information from WordPress to Jekyll and user/technical docs to Sphinx. As part of that migration, we also set up a "docs as code" process, complete with continuous integration and automated publishing. The migration has been a success, but we have more to do!

Google Season of Docs
Season of Docs is a unique program that pairs technical writers with open source mentors to introduce the technical writer to an open source community and provide guidance while the writer works on a real world open source project. The technical writer in turn provides documentation expertise to the open source organization.

Season of Docs is not a recruiting program or a traditional internship, but it does provide an invaluable experience and looks great on a resume! The application period for technical writers opens on May 29, 2019 and ends on June 28, 2019. This year's Season of Docs is a pilot that accepts only a limited number of applications, so don't wait to the last minute to prepare!

If you have any questions about GSoD in general, please reply to this post and ask. For questions or comments about specific projects, please comment on the project topics listed below. Questions about the docs themselves should go in the Documentation category.

While we prefer you use this forum for communication so all time zones can have a chance to respond. But if you have a question about GSoD that needs a real-time answer or just want to chat, you can find us on the developer Slack in the #internships channel.

We aim to have all conversations in public to increase transparency and knowledge sharing. In this spirit, please refrain from messaging community members directly!

Our community produces two suites of software: ODK and ODK-X. Each suite contains tools that work together to collect, use, and manage data. You can learn more about the differences at https://opendatakit.org/software.

We will be looking for one technical writer for each suite of software. Each writer will work with two mentors. These high-level descriptions should serve as a starting point for your GSoD applications:

Getting Started
First, read the GSoD technical writer guide to make sure you are eligible and understand the program. Next, review the timeline so you don't miss any deadlines. We also encourage you to read creating a technical writing application so you understand how to complete key parts of the GSoD application.

As you start working on your GSoD application, be sure to look over our website and documentation (ODK, ODK-X) to familiarize yourself with the various suites. Please also read over the GSoD projects linked above and start discussing your ideas in the linked topics. The earlier you start with this "technical writer exploration phase", the better your application will be!

Applications are open
Technical writers can now submit their applications to the Season of Docs program administrators. The application form is available at https://forms.gle/Fxr2nW4TCiyESHbo8.

If you are willing to share your project proposal (put a link in the above project topics), project mentors can help you refine your project proposals. Technical writer applications close on June 28.


I am a college undergrad having an experience in technical writing as writing a tutorial highlighting yellowbrick, documenting classes in Haiku for my Outreachy'19 and translating a 3rd party app to my native language in Haiku.
Will I be able to participate inGSoD'19?
Thanks in advance. I am exploring ODK.

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Welcome, @Naba7!

The eligibility requirements are summarized at https://developers.google.com/season-of-docs/docs/tech-writer-guide. They are:

  • At least 18 years old at 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 duration of program.
  • A resident of a country not currently embargoed by the United States.

We will be selecting technical writers based on the criteria outlined at https://developers.google.com/season-of-docs/docs/project-selection.


Thank you. Where will I start from?

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https://github.com/opendatakit/docs#how-to-contribute is a good place to start.

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Hi everyone
I am Sachin, a sophomore at Delhi Technological University in India. I am pursuing B.Tech. in Computer Science. I wish to participate in Season of Docs with Open Data Kit.

I love to learn new technologies. I am a full stack developer and have a good experience in the open source.
Please guide me how to proceed further.

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Hi @sachin55,

Thanks for your interest in GSoD with Open Data Kit!

Check out the Technical writer guide and the Timeline for an overview of the process.

We are in the Technical Writer Exploration phase, so the ODK projects below are also a good place to get started from.


I'll have a look and start from here. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Team,

I'm Roshan, working as a Senior Technical Writer with a DevOps consulting firm. I've got interested in contributing to open source documentation lately. Would love to join this community. Thanks!


Hi Roshan,

Welcome! It's great to have you here.

Let us know if you need any help exploring the GSoD topics or getting started with the process.

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Hi @bengreen Thank you for the warm welcome. How can I get started on this project?


Hi @roshancr! Are you interested in Google Summer of Docs specifically or contributing to documentation more broadly? For Google Summer of Docs, the first steps are outlined in the "getting started" section of the post above. Let us know if you have any specific questions about those. If you have thoughts or questions about one or both of the high-level project descriptions, please join the conversations on those posts.

If you're interested in participating informally, I encourage you to start by reading through the website to get familiar with Open Data Kit and then heading to the documentation GitHub repository to see if you might want to help with open issues.

Thanks and looking forward to collaborating with you!


Hi @LN Thanks for the invite. I'm interested in GSoD actually. Having said that I can also participate informally as time permits.


Technical writers can now submit their applications to the Season of Docs program administrators. The application form is available at https://forms.gle/Fxr2nW4TCiyESHbo8 and will close on June 28. I've updated the post at first post at Welcome GSoD 2019 applications with this information.