Season of Docs · 4 min read

How did Open Collective's docs change in three months? – 2019-11-27

This is my last week as a Google Season of Docs technical writer and let me tell you, working with Open Collective was a delightful experience! In the last three months, I got to know more about one of the most fascinating communities in open source, worked with dedicated contributors, and — most importantly — I had the chance to improve all of Open Collective’s help pages as much as I could.

As a documentarian, my work isn’t limited to writing about how a certain product or process works — in fact, I would say that actual technical writing is only 10% of all the things I do.

My main goal is to understand the context in which those products and/or processes exist: the tools all members of the community use, the model of development, operations and delivery they chose to follow, how core and external contributors communicate with each other, how each new functionality is crafted, how every key member of their community interacts with both the platform and people around them. That’s why I invested a lot of time in understanding Open Collective as a whole. I connected with all teams and even had the chance to witness the release of new functionalities.

That’s also the reason why the majority of my reports are about GitBook, our current documentation platform. I was able to work on our documentation both as an external contributor (through our GitHub mirror, submitting pull requests) and a core contributor (using GitBook’s web interface). I had to make some aggressive changes to our documentation’s structure, and those experiences helped me evaluate GitBook’s strengths and weakness and judge whether that’s still a good choice for our docs or not (my verdict: it isn’t).

This community has welcomed me with open arms and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Open Collective has found in me a contributor for life, and I hope to keep contributing for as long as I can. Thank you Google Season of Docs organizers, Open Collective and, in special, Alanna and Jaskirat.