Google has announced a new programme, designed to run alongside the Google Summer of Code, through which it aims to improve the quality of documentation in open source projects: the Season of Docs.

Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is a popular programme through which student developers are partnered with mentor organisations and financially supported in working on collaborating with a variety of open-source projects through programming. The Season of Docs is, as the name suggests, focused less on programming and more on documentation – an area which too many open source projects let fall by the wayside in their eagerness to focus on the code.

“Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation,” Google’s Sarah Maddox and Andrew Chen explain in the programme’s announcement, which echoes the Summer of Code in offering a financial stipend to participants. “During Season of Docs, technical writers will spend a few months working closely with open source communities. Each writer works with their chosen open source project. The writers bring their expertise to the projects’ documentation while at the same time learning about open source and new technologies.

“Mentors from participating open source organisations share knowledge of their communities’ processes and tools. Together the technical writers and mentors build a new doc set, improve the structure of the existing docs, develop a much-needed tutorial, or improve contribution processes and guides.”

Full details on the new programme, organisation applications for which close in late April and writer applications in late June, are available on the official website.