How to crack Google Season of Docs 2024

February 12, 2024 in Open Source by Blessing Ene Anyebe8 minutes

(Tips from GSOD’s past Interns)

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The Google Season of Docs is one of the most influential open source platforms for technical documentation beneficial to organizations and technical writers. It supports open source projects to improve their documentation and allows professional technical writers to gain experience in open source.

Currently many technical writers worldwide are clamoring to get into Google season of docs, so you need to get it right – to GET IN.

Also, Google Season of Docs focuses on technical documentation and technical writing-based contributions. Unlike Google Summer of Code and other Google open source initiatives, the Google Season of Docs is an annual paid internship program. It aims to improve the technical documentation of open source projects and provides opportunities for technical writers to contribute to open source.

Who can participate in GSOD?

The Google rules that concern writers state that, as long as you are above 18 years old at the time of registration, you are eligible to work in your country of residence. You should also have prior experience as a technical writer.

Keep in mind:

The Google Season of Docs program is said to favor professional technical writers, but it is not necessary to have extensive documentation experience to be accepted. Quoting Nelson from his interview with Linda Ikechukuw on Everything Technical Writing, he stated that he had no prior knowledge of documentation - but saw it as a valuable learning experience. While some technical writing experience is required, having top-notch documentation skills is not a prerequisite. However, being able to learn quickly is vital.

Benefits of participating in GSOD

GSOD aims to improve the documentation of open source projects and technical writers. It provides an avenue of mentorship from the open source organization, gains exposure to real-world documentation challenges, and contributes to the broader open source community.

Let’s explore some more benefits in detail;

You gain Open source experience:

Participating in GSOD has several benefits. It allows you to learn more about open source and its significance and helps you understand how to contribute. Moreover, you connect with like-minded open source enthusiasts, maintainers, and organizations. By participating in GSOD, you can claim the Open Source contributor badge with evidence, which is a solid achievement.

You improve your skills:

Contributing to GSOD gives you more real-world experience working on technical documentation. In addition to improving your technical skills, participating in projects and collaborative work can help you enhance your ability to work well with others, communicate effectively, work in teams, generate ideas, conduct research, and more. This sort of work can also help you identify areas where you may need to improve your skills and provide opportunities to develop and strengthen those areas.

You earn:

In participating, you get stipends from Google paid through the organization. It is a rewarding experience to learn, contribute, and get paid. GSOD provides a completely stellar open source package.

Access to future opportunities:

GSOD helps expand your network. You become the person other beginners want to learn from, someone mentors/seniors can work with for other opportunities.

GSOD gives you the access to be easily recommended and referred by mentors you work with to opportunities they would be sure you can handle based on their experience working with you.

If you plan on stalling this year – Here is your cue – Don’t!

Working tips to get into GSOD 2024

Prepare your proof of experience:

The GSoD program provides an excellent opportunity for seasoned technical writers to leverage their expertise and explore the world of open source software. However, the program is for individuals familiar with technical writing and requires training to enhance their skills.

Organizations do not have the time or resources to train. They require solid evidence showing your abilities to deliver high-quality documentation and articles. Therefore, you must have a portfolio of past work to show.

As the saying goes from our Nigeria Twitter space, “You go explain tire, no evidence.” In other words, it is not enough to claim you are a professional technical writer. You need a robust body of work demonstrating your capabilities.

So what do you do?
  • Show your already demonstrated technical writing skills through blog posts, documentation projects, etc.
  • How do your skills and experience benefit the organization?
  • Do you know the tech stacks used by the organization?
  • Your portfolio should answer yes to the above questions.

Contribute to Open Source beforehand:

You need prior interactions with open source, even if GSOD introduces you to the open source world. One important thing to note is that previous contributors have a better chance of being selected if they have merged contributions to the organization’s project beforehand.

Regardless of your solid proposal, organizations likely work with names and people with evidence of contributing to their open source project earlier. Past contributions play a vital role in your selection because that shows your proficiency and also gives your application an edge against others. Make at least one contribution to the Open Source Organization.

It is not too late to start contributing to Open source projects; look at organizations that gave GSOD a shot previously and start making your contributions to their project.

Keep in mind:

It is important to note that while contributing to open source organizations is not mandatory, it can significantly increase your chances of being accepted. Such contributions demonstrate your commitment to the field and your ability to collaborate effectively with others.

Apply to more than one organization:

You can apply to as many organizations as your skills align with. If your skills align with all, apply to all and try not to overdo it. You can do a maximum of 3 and a minimum of 2. It is to ensure that your attention is not overly saturated.

Yes, shooting as many shots as possible is wise, but it could hurt you if there are too many. Follow your strengths and select the organizations you can deliver best to.

How do you select organizations that work best?
  • Your tech stack strength.
  • Your passion for the project and organization at large.
  • How does the project motivate you?
  • Do you have experience with the project or organization?
  • Is that right for you?

Get involved with the organization:

Once you have selected the organization you want to work with, take some time to read about them. Get familiar with the tools and programming stack they use. Make sure to demonstrate your understanding of their documentation. It is also a good idea to join their community chat forum, attend community calls, and participate in their events to learn more about the organization. It’s important to remain active in their community even after the application deadline.

One other detail is to follow up with the project mentors. Ask questions and try not to overburden them.

Write a proposal:

Your proposal is a vital part of the application process. It is the avenue to prove how and why you are the best candidate. It gives you a clear understanding of the project goal, things to put in place for the project, your timeline, and so on.

Also, writing a proposal shows your mentor your goals for the project, why you believe you are the right person for the role, your experience, and more.

Your proposals should contain you selling what you can actionably do to improve their documentation.

I have included proposals in the Resources to give you a guide at yours.

Pray to God:

I will end with this final tip from Wisdom Nwokocha: PRAY TO GOD. One of my favorite verses from the scripture says, “Man may prepare, but it is God’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). After you have done all you can, hold onto hope that things will work out.

If it doesn’t, remember there is always next year to try again!

Bonus Tips:

  • Edit your Github: Let it show you are either open source enthusiasts or maintainers.
  • Network: Connect with current and past GSOD participants. Their insights and experiences are valuable.
  • Stay organized, positive, and intentional.
  • Take and use feedback: View constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow and improve your writing skills.
  • Don’t be discouraged by setbacks: Even the most skilled writers face rejection. Learn from each experience and apply what you learn to future endeavors.


Cracking Google Season of Docs 2024 requires doing the work, dedication, and combining your technical skills. Maximize your chances of success by familiarizing yourself with OS projects, showcasing your expertise, and aligning your goals with the organization’s needs.

Finally, while preparation is key, a resilient spirit and a sense of purpose can push you toward achieving your aspirations in Google Season of Docs.



Improving Wikimedia’s onboarding processes and documentation standards - Bello Gbadebo

GSoD’22 statement of interest Palisadoes - Vedant Jain

GSoD 2019 Project Proposal (Modernize the VLC user documentation) - Edidiong Asikpo

Moja Global GSOD 2022 proposal - Amarachi Iheanacho

Further References

How to crack Google Season of Docs 2022 application stage – Wisdom Nwokocha

How to Crack the Google Season of Docs Application Process for 2020 - Edidiong Asikpo

My journey of getting accepted in Google Season of Docs 2023 - Bhaswati Roy

Google Season Of Docs: Everything You Need To Know To Get Accepted (TCCS #7) – Linda Ikechukuw

Google Season of Docs call with Wisdom Nwokocha – Technical Writing Mentorship Program

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