Mentor guide

Current phase:
Technical writer proposals under review. See timeline.

This page is a guide for open source mentors—members of open source organizations who take part in Season of Docs as mentors for technical writers.

Introduction

The guide helps you perform the tasks you're responsible for at each phase of Season of Docs.

One of your goals as mentor is to ensure the technical writers have a rewarding and successful experience in this year’s Season of Docs. That will improve the chances that the technical writers will continue contributing to your open source project after the close of this year’s Season of Docs, and that other technical writers will become enthusiastic about working in open source.

Organization application phase

The organization application phase runs from April 2, 2019 - April 23, 2019. During this period your organization administrator can submit an application for the organization to take part in Season of Docs. The Google program administrators publish the list of successful organizations on April 30, 2019.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Create your ideas list.

Work with your organization administrator to create a project ideas list. The list should include one or more documentation projects that you'd like a technical writer to tackle during this year's Season of Docs.

Ideas for technical writing projects

Register for Season of Docs.

Register for Season of Docs as soon as possible.

Mentor Registration Form

Talk about Season of Docs.

Spread the word that your organization is taking part in Season of Docs! Even if your organization doesn't make it into the final list of accepted organizations this year, it's still great news that you've been part of the selection process.

Promotional material

Technical writer exploration phase

The technical writer exploration phase runs from April 30 - May 28, 2019. During this period, technical writers explore the list of participating organizations and the organizations' project ideas. Technical writers may approach one or more organizations directly to discuss project ideas.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Discuss project ideas with interested technical writers.

You may discuss project ideas with any technical writer who approaches your organization directly, to help the technical writer put together a good project proposal for submission to the Google program administrators. The project ideas may come from the ideas list that your organization has proposed as well as other ideas that the technical writer proposes.

Ideas for technical writing projects

Assessing technical writer proposals

Technical writer application phase

The technical writer application phase runs from May 29, 2019 - June 28, 2019. During this period, technical writers apply to take part in Season of Docs, and organizations select the projects they want to mentor.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Assess technical writer proposals.

Work with your organization administrator to assess the technical writer proposals and select the technical writing project(s) that your organization wants to mentor during this year's Season of Docs.

Assessing technical writer proposals

Community bonding phase

The community bonding phase runs from August 1 - September 1, 2019. During this period, the mentors help the accepted technical writers become familiar with the open source project.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Introduce the technical writer to the open source project and community.

Introduce the technical writer to the open source organization and help the technical writer become familiar with the tools and processes that you use.

Working with a technical writer

Your responsibilities

Explain your product to the technical writer.

Spend time explaining the product (especially conceptually) and making sure the technical writer understands the audience of the documentation.

Working with a technical writer

Set up communication channels.

Encourage the technical writer to introduce themselves on the community mailing lists, chat, Slack channel, and any other shared communication channel. Make sure the technical writer has a reliable way of communicating directly with you.

Your responsibilities

Set goals and expectations.

Work with the technical writer to refine the goals for their technical writing project and to set expectations on both sides. The goal is to ensure success of the project.

Your responsibilities

Doc development phase

The doc development phase runs from September 2, 2019 - November 22, 2019. During this period, technical writers work on their projects under close consultation with their mentors.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Advise and encourage the technical writer.

Work closely with the technical writer to ensure successful completion of their project.

Working with a technical writer

Your responsibilities

Complete any survey from the Google program administrators.

The Google program administrators may send out a mid-project survey to assess progress. Complete the survey and submit your answers to the Google program administrators as instructed on the survey document.

Project finalization and evaluation phases

The project finalization phase runs from November 25 - 29, 2019. During this period, technical writers submit their final work products and their mentor evaluations.

The mentor evaluation phase runs from December 2, 2019 - December 6, 2019 at 18:00 UTC. During this period, mentors submit their evaluations of the success of the technical writing projects and their experience working with the technical writers.

Your tasks as mentor during this phase

Write and submit your evaluation of the technical writing project.

Complete and submit your evaluations by December 6, 2019 at 18:00 UTC.

Evaluating a technical writing project

Form available during project finalization phase (December 2, 2019).

Long-running projects

For standard-length technical writing projects in Season of Docs, the doc development phase runs from September 2, 2019 - November 22, 2019. However, some technical writers may apply for a long-running project under consultation with the open source organization. For a long-running project, the doc development phase runs from September 2, 2019 - February 21, 2020.

The project finalization and evaluation period for long-running projects is February 24 - 28, 2020. During this period, technical writers submit their final work products and evaluations, and mentors submit their evaluations.

Your tasks as mentor for a long-running project

Advise the technical writer and submit your project evaluation.

Your tasks and responsibilities are the same as described on this page for standard-length technical writing projects, except that the dates for project finalization and evaluations are later.