Perhaps you’ve heard of Google’s Season of Code program. Google started Season of Docs in 2019. Here, technical writers and open source organizations meet up and improve a variety of help docs. North American writers who successfully complete their selected project receive a $6000 stipend from Google. Writers in other countries get similar stipends based on their relative cost of living.
The article is something of a condensed version of the program’s own technical writer’s guide. I also offer some advice on how to select a project and complete the application.
GSoD is something I would have loved to get into when I was a baby tech writer. Sadly, Google barely existed when I got started. Today’s Google may not have “Don’t be evil” as a motto anymore, but this is a positive boost for a variety of open source projects. Of course, the ultimate beneficiaries are the users of the software, so it’s good for everyone! By the way, the WordPress doc team is involved, so you can help improve those documents.
Go read the article, go see the final reports from last year’s GSoD, and then start exploring your ideas for improving open source documentation. You have until July 9, 2020 to apply to the program.
Meanwhile, you can find more of my best work for TechWhirl in my portfolio.
This story is less about WordPress than an argument for more website owners and devs to build progressive web apps, especially for their mobile users. I’m now working on a sequel to help developers build PWAs with WordPress.
A lively discussion has ensued in the comments section. This warms my heart.
Speaking of which: What would you like to know about progressive web apps? Is this another flash-in-the-pan technology? What’s your biggest peeve with the web on your phone or tablet?
I’ve got a new tutorial on Elasticsearch up at WPMUDev. If your WordPress site is incredibly large, and your users complain about it being difficult to use search to find things, this cloud-based search tool can speed things up.
You’ll learn how to set up Elasticsearch and configure two plugins (ElasticPress and Fantastic Elasticsearch) to connect your site to the search engine.
Using Local by Flywheel
Preparing tutorials and plugin reviews like this one can be hard, what with switching things in and out to see what works, and how. I’ve been using the new free development site builder from hosting company Flywheel, called Local. They use VirtualBox to create a virtual machine for WordPress. After installation, you can set up any number of WordPress sites. Big plus: When you launch any of your configured sites in a browser, you login with the credentials you provide to Local. When you’re done with your testing, just delete the site and get on with your next project.
Local is an interesting product and easy to play with. While it really was created for plugin developers to see how their tools work in a real environment, it’s good for folks like me who like to test a variety of other people’s themes and plugins too.
By the way, I’m always looking for new WordPress story ideas. If there’s something you’d like to learn about WordPress, leave a public comment here or use the Contact page to connect privately. I aim to answer all emails I get through the website.