Measuring Documentation Success in Open Source: Findings from Google’s Season of Docs Program




Season of Docs is a program run by Google’s Open Source Programs Office. The SoD program has three goals:

  • Improve documentation in open source projects
  • Create opportunities for technical writers to participate in open source projects
  • Expand our knowledge of effective metrics for evaluating open source documentation

2021 was the third year of the Season of Docs program, and the first year where projects were asked to explicitly state the problems they expected their documentation projects to solve and to outline the metrics they would use to evaluate the success of their documentation projects.

In this talk, we’ll share what we learned about documentation metrics through the 30 case studies completed by Season of Docs projects: what worked, what didn’t work, and what’s too soon to tell. We’ll also share what projects learned about working with technical writers, including how technical writers can be compensated for working in open source, and what projects learned about integrating technical writers into their communities.

  • Conference: Write the Docs Portland
  • Year: 2022

About the speaker

Kassandra Dhillon

Erin McKean