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Season of Docs -- opportunities for both tech writers and open-source organizations to benefit from each other

by Tom Johnson on May 13, 2019 •
categories: general

When I was at the STC Summit last week, I was chatting with Sarah Maddox about Season of Docs. This is a program where technical writers looking to gain experience in the field can work with an open-source organization for a three-month timeframe on specific projects, building up both experience and a portfolio of sample docs. In turn, open-source organizations can benefit from having dedicated, enthusiastic technical writers creating much-needed documentation.

You can read more about the program at Season of Docs.

Season of Docs

I had heard of Season of the Docs before the Summit, but I didn’t realize that Sarah Maddox was the one who organized the whole program. Given the size and scope of this program, it’s a really impressive effort — Sara believes 100% in open-source, and it shows. You can read more about Season of Docs on her blog here: Season of Docs is now ready for tech writer exploration.

Getting experience as a new tech writer can be difficult, and despite the many projects on GitHub, finding a good documentation project can be difficult (not to mention the challenge of integrating into the team). Season of the Docs looks like a first-of-its-kind program to bring volunteer tech writers and organizations together. The program even provides a small stipend to each group.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the Season of Docs homepage:

Technical writers

Spend three months working closely with an open source community. Bring your technical writing expertise to the project's documentation. Learn about open source and new technologies. Add more skills to your resume. Learn more »

Open source organizations

Invite an experienced technical writer to work on your documentation for three months. Provide some project ideas based on your documentation needs, then work with a technical writer to build your doc set, improve your information architecture, or develop a much-needed tutorial. Learn more »


Introduce a technical writer to your open source project and community. Help the technical writer use the project's tools and understand the product. Contribute together to some shiny new docs that enhance your community and your code. Learn more »

Learn more at Season of Docs.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.