TL;DR: During December, merge or propose 25 pull-requests (or equivalent) enhancing any forms of documentation, into your project. It could be spanned on the whole month, or 1 per day until Christmas.

If you care about documentation, please help us by sharing the idea around you, tweeting it, talking about it in your company, etc.

Some background

On the first of November, while I was checking my Twitter stream, I got a nice mix between the recently started NaNoWriMo, and Steve Klabnik & Ashley G. Williams tweets about documentation in open source projects. The brain being what it is, a link was made between those two ideas and I thought it would be cool to have an event similar to the NaNoWriMo but oriented to documentation writing. Thus, I tweeted:

Knowing that, I won’t be able to reach enough people with my account only, I shamelessly poke Steve Klabnik since I was pretty sure this will be interesting to him. He kindly shared this idea, and this led Matool to propose the awesome DOCember name, replacing the clumsy NaDoWriMo I proposed. The three of us then decided that we should write blog posts about this project, so here is mine :) You can also see the one Steve Klabnik wrote.

So what will be DOCember?

In the following I’ll use “project” loosely for anything that could be helped by a documentation. It can represent a coding project, organization at large, or processes inside a project/group/organization.

The idea is to promote the fact that documenting your project is actually pretty critical for its quality and adoption. The parallel with InkTober (1 drawing every day of October) and the NaNoWriMo (Writing a 50,000 word novel during November) is evident, and I believe those two events are working because:

  • They are a personal challenge, maintaining the pace and finishing successfully is not easy. Being able to reach the end, becoming a motivation in itself.
  • You improve at the same time, it offers you a setting that help you to work regularly on your skills. Even if you don’t finish the challenge, you worked and improved yourself through it.

So, during December, one should aim at merging the equivalent of 25 pull-request enhancing the documentation of one’s or others’ project·s (may it be public projects, or company internal ones). It can be any form of documentation: API types and functions, tutorials on using your tool, on-boarding people in your company, project processes… You name it. You can spin this on the whole month, or you can try to make it one merge each day until Christmas. It can be a personal challenge (helping your project, or someone else project by documenting it), or a community one (organizing your community to make documentation a priority during this month). Make it whatever match your situation, the goal is foremost to raise awareness, enhance documentation, and having fun doing so!

Obviously, we need your help to share the love of good documentation out. So if this idea appeals to you, please share it around you, tweet about it, discuss it in your organization, etc. I’ll try to be available as much as possible on twitter about that :)