So I officially started with Google Season of Documentation 2021 with moja global on May 4th 2021. To be honest I have no idea where this last month went 😳. There are two things that I absolutely love about open source :-
- Software for the betterment of the community.
- Collaborating with new folks from the community.
And moja global has provided me with the best of both worlds! The community here is still in a budding state, so we're welcoming new people everyday (Hey, why don't you join us?). Talking about the project I'm working on making a community website for moja global. This will allow not just developers but anyone from the community like researchers, scientists, etc to get a glimpse of the projects and find out resources to learn about them. "Wait Sarthak, scientists you say? Why would scientists look at your project?" Hmm, good question! I think it's time I unveil the actual work that moja global does. Quoting moja global's official website :-
The moja global community supports ambitious climate action by developing pioneering, open-source software – including the groundbreaking FLINT software – to help users accurately and affordably estimate greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forestry, agriculture and other land uses (AFOLU).
By now I think it must be pretty clear why I'm loving every minute of working for this organisation. It makes me super happy that I'm helping in the fight for a sustainable future ❤️.
So let's not waste anymore time and dive into what I did this month. Since this was my first month, it was mostly spent getting myself familiarised with the tools and planning my work.
So I started my week by getting to know my team which mainly comprises of two mentors Dr. Andrew O' Reilly-Nugent Sneha Mishra, a fellow GSoD intern and a good friend of mine Harsh Bardhan Mishra and two volunteers Shubham Karande and Mohammed Warid. Of course these people don't even comprise half of the moja global community but these are the people with whom I interact on a daily/weekly basis.
After getting to know the people, the next logical step was to know the project. I spent the better part of the week trying to understand What is The Full Lands Integration Tool (FLINT)?. This obviously came hand-in-hand with me understanding the user-base of the tool and in connection helped me analyse the aspects I need to focus on while creating the community website.
One of my initial major task was to setup Github actions for all the repositories and have uniform issue labels. This helps the maintainers in maintaining the projects and also makes it easier for folks to move from one project to another without trying too hard to understand what type of work an issue requires. I followed a very simple model for this. I divided any issue into the category of documentation, testing or FrontEnd / BackEnd (if applicable) among other categories. Each issue was also assigned a priority between P0 - P2 (highest to lowest).
The two other major highlights of the week were. Harsh and I compiling a list of all the Github actions that we'll be using and auditing all the repositories of moja global, analysing what all could be improved with respect to documentation, issue labels, Github actions, etc. so that new developers don't find the projects intimidating.
The other highlight was I got on a 1-on-1 call with my mentor Sneha where I shared my plan of action for the community website. She was kind enough to give her suggestions and also point out a couple of potential roadblocks I might run into and how to solve them.
This week was perhaps the most happening one. This week involved meeting the bright minds who are behind moja global, me and Harsh also proposed the formation of a Documentation working group.
The first meeting was an introductory one where I didn't take the spotlight. In this meeting my mentor Dr. Andrew took the time to introduce the team of moja global and also what work was handled by whom. It was quite insightful and honestly I was astonished by the fact that I am working with such highly qualified individuals.
The second meeting was well uno reverse of the first one 😂. This meeting was chaired by Harsh and me, this was with the Technical Steering Committee. It was quite an important meeting as the following things were discussed in it :-
Documentation plan for repositories (Dividing any documentation into 3 categories, suitable for researchers, new contributors and seasoned contributors)
Mind map for the community website (what sections it will have, plan of documentation, content differentiation between Read The Docs and the website, etc.)
Proposal for formation of a documentation working group.
Style guide's formation and it's progress till now.
This was the week where I finally got my hands dirty and dove into some good old, all-time favourite React ❤️. So after a lot of analysis of different static site generators like Gatsby, Jekyll, etc. It was decided that we'll go with Docusaurus for the community website. As much as I love it you can't ignore the fact that using Docusaurus is a bit complex as compared to the other SSGs listed above but at the same time the power it provides, makes the tradeoff profitable.
So, the week started with me meeting with my mentor Sneha where we formally officiated a plan of action for the first month and also decide how will we plan our project progress. She allowed me to decide how to track progress and I always prefer the Github's project board for it. "Why?" you ask? Well because it makes everything available at one place (the code, the issues and also the milestones).
I setup the repository, the project board, etc. and pushed some boilerplate code to the repository to get the ball rolling. After that I started working on some mockups for the homepage along with Mohd. Warid as he is way better than me in the UI/UX sector 😌.
Apart from this some important meetings were also held in this week. One of them was with Kyle Salukas where we discussed a bit about what content we are planning on the community website and most importantly about how or where do we plan to host the website once it's made.
After that since the creative process was taking a bit of time I used this time to do some DevRel work for moja global. I onboarded 5 new contributors and hosted office hours with them where me and Harsh told them about the work that moja global does, got to know them and then based on their interests we tried to find areas where they could contribute. It has not even been 2 weeks and the new contributors already made 3-4 PRs 🥳. I mean what more can I ask for? 🤪
The next month is gonna be hectic! All fun and games aside it's time we got down to business and get some chunk of work done. This is what I'm planning with respect to the minimum amount of work that should be done in the month of June :-
- Finishing the homepage of the community website.
- Finalising the documentation style guide, content strategy and getting them approved by the Technical Steering Committee.
- Based on the style guide, finishing at least 1-2 projects' documentation on the website.
- Have the overall skeleton up and running of the website (Sections :- Blogs, wall of fame, etc.)
With that. I'll see you next month. No no wait... React 18 alpha just got out. Make it a couple of weeks 😉.