Google Season of Docs is an annual program started by Google in 2019 which aims to spread awareness about open source technical writing. In GSoD, the technical writers get an opportunity to work for open source organizations for which Google pays the stipend also. For the technical writers who don’t have prior experience, GSoD provides an amazing opportunity to learn from the experienced writers and enhance their vision by working in the community and those writers who have prior experience get an opportunity to gets their hands dirty on real projects.
The program starts when the organization’s application period starts, the open-source organizations list their documentation project ideas, and the organizations which are shortlisted and selected for the program gets displayed on the official site along with their projects. Then starts the application period for the technical writers where the writers prepare a proposal and submit it for getting selected in the program and when the proposal is accepted by the organization then organization mentor the student for the program and Google rewards them after completing the program successfully. In 2019, about 450 technical writers applied for the program and around 50 technical writers were selected.
How to Crack GSoD ?
For cracking GSoD, the most important part is writing a good proposal and this thing is done at the time of application but if you want to prepare yourself for the upcoming season of GSoD and crack it on the first attempt then you must understand what kind of projects you might tackle during GSoD program and you should prepare yourself so that you can easily outperform other participants during the application period and increase your probability of getting selected. So just go through the project ideas once and prepare well and write a good proposal that will brief your entire program’s work module along with the timeline.
The projects ideas for Technical Content Writers –
- Refactor the existing documentation of the open-source project.
- To create a tutorial for a high-profile use case.
- To create a set of focused how-to-guides for a specific task.
- To create a basic user guide for the beginner.
- To add text like brief about license agreements and processes for making a contribution.
- To write a complete description of a project.
- To publish an initial set of documentation given to you.
- To build a documentation site.
- To add content on platforms like Github pages or Hugo.
Your project might get an integrated version of the mentioned tasks like you may need to build a documentation site and then publish an initial set of documentation and after that write description of the project. Overall it would be great for your learning exposure. You might tackle few new ideas in the upcoming season but the previous seasons were focusing mainly on these topics so there are high chances that new projects will be integrated with these too. Work on your skills so that you can smoothly work on these kinds of projects and prepare your resume accordingly. Apart from the projects go for the below-mentioned tips, they will just make you one step more closure to GSoD.
1. Shortlist Projects
When the organizations announce the project ideas then shortlist 5 projects of your interest and discuss them with the organization and after that shortlist 2-3 three projects and start preparing a proposal for them and apply for those who suit you the most.
2. Prepare Proposal
The proposal is the most important part because most of the candidates have enough knowledge, but they do make mistake while writing a proposal and face rejection. The key to writing a good proposal is to make it realistic, the most common mistake which is seen in proposals is that candidates write a proposal like a fairy tale story which seems so attractive but is impossible to complete practically in the given time period. So make a realistic proposal and break down your complete projects into small segments and show them according to the timeline of the project.
3. Stay Active in Community
When you discuss the project ideas with the community and then stay active in the community, asks questions, learn more and make contributions this makes a positive impression which boosts the chances of your proposal getting accepted because you are working with the community and showing them how much eager you are to learn and contribute.
4. Brand Yourself
Before the GSoD program what you can do to showcase your work and experience as a technical content writer is to create blogs, write articles, help in improving the documentation of existing projects of open source organizations. At the time of application attach direct links of your work which will separate you from other candidates and posses a good impression.