Documentation Competition

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I was working through some SteelCon paperwork and realised that we still have a training course donated by SecurityTube that was never given out during the conference. I was thinking of different ways to give this away and decided to have a documentation competition.

People like writing code and open source projects regularly get contributions from one line bug fixes to multi-file new features but what they don’t often get is documentation so this is an attempt to change that. The challenge for this competition is to pick a project, or two or three, and help them with their documentation. This can be done in many ways, examples include:

  • Writing some for a project which doesn’t have any
  • Bringing existing documents up-to-date
  • Translating documents into other languages
  • Fixing typos, grammar and improving readability
  • Create tutorials or howtos
  • Create an installation guide

Most projects that I know will happily accept submissions but check with them first, they may already have work in progress so no point duplicating effort. If you really want to work on something for a project which isn’t interested then we will accept work hosted elsewhere but please show your efforts in submitting it first, this is not just an opportunity to write a blog post for your own site. Submissions also have to be for open source projects, no commercial tools.

All submissions must be new work created between today and the end of November. Ideally your submission will be a reference to the new documentation in place on the project site but where this isn’t possible send us a copy and some evidence that you’ve submitted it, this could be a pull request from GitHub or just a copy of the email where you send it to the developers.

If you are a project maintainer and want to create something for your own project then that is fine, nothing wrong with documenting your own work and if this gives you the incentive needed then great.

The documents submitted can be at any level, a beginner writing a beginners guide is just as good as an expert documenting some obscure feature that only hard core users will ever understand.

The judging criteria are being kept deliberately loose and the winner will be the person who shows they’ve put in the most effort. This isn’t necessarily most words written or highest quality writing, just effort and enthusiasm. The judging panel will consist of SteelCon organisers along with a few, hand picked, experts. The competition closes on November 30th and we will try to pick a winner this side of Christmas.

Good luck everyone and go get writing.

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