Contribute to MDN Web Docs


MDN Web Docs is an evolving learning platform for Web technologies and the software that powers the Web. MDN's mission is simple: to provide developers with the information they need to easily build projects on the open Web. 

Every part of MDN (docs, demos, and the site itself) are created by an open community of developers building resources for a better Web, regardless of brand, browser, or platform. Anyone can contribute, and each person who does makes us stronger. Together we can continue to drive innovation on the Web to serve the greater good. It starts here, with you. Join us!

How to contribute

MDN is an open source resource where anyone can add and edit contents. You don’t need to be a programmer or know a lot about technologies. There are plenty of things that need to be done, from the simple (proofreading and correcting typos) to the complex (writing API documentation). Have a look at  how you can get started and then explore the  different areas you can contribute to.

 

When organizing an event, please take into consideration that they require knowledge of the web technologies you choose to help with (e.g. JavaScript, CSS), as well as a reasonable knowledge of the English language. For the first two events, a knowledge of how to use GitHub is useful. Target your events to an appropriate group/community.

How to start 

 

There are a few easy steps that you can take if you want to get started contributing.

 

You just need to 1) create a GitHub account,  2) pick a task to complete, and then 3) work at it! If you encounter any difficulties you are more than welcome to ask for help.

 

Go here for a detailed guide on how to get started!

 

 

Different areas you can contribute to:

 

There are multiple avenues you can take to contribute to MDN depending on your skillset and interests. Go here to start exploring ways to contribute!

 

Main ways to contribute are:

  1. Fixing MDN content bugs
  2. Reviewing MDN edits
  3. Help beginners to learn on MDN

 

But there are many other tasks! Go here for more details on the different areas to which you can contribute

 

MDN events – get your community started in MDN

 

Organize an event (on-line in in-person) to help your community to  start contributing to MDN.

 

Before the event

Check out all the details on this activity here.

 

Discover the skills of your participants:

 

  • If you don’t know the skills of your participants, you can ask them to fill out a survey about it. That would make selecting appropriate bugs and dividing the participants into group easier.

 

  • Skills you can ask about: The most common bugs require skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but there are also some that require knowledge in HTTP, SVG or other technologies.

 

Search issues with appropriate labels within the quickest time label.

 

  • Choose one closed issue that you can use as an example.

Example of a solved issue. 

Pull request for the solved issue

  • Choose interesting open issues taking into consideration the skills of your event attendees –  we suggest that choose 1 issue for each 3-5 participants

 

  • There is a label ‘good-first-issue’ on issues which are good for beginners, we suggest you start from those!

 

Get the bugs!

 

  • You do not have to ask for the issue to be assigned to you, but you will need to comment with this standard sentence (please do this as near to the event as possible, to avoid issues being left for a long time or go out of date).

 

I am taking this issue for an event, please do not touch it until 2 days after the event, which would take place X (add link to the event in the Community Portal)”

 

During the event (ca. 2:15 hours)

 

Introduction and set up

 

 

 

Fix the bug!

 

  • Present the closed bug – give a step by step explanation: (15 minutes)
    • Explain how to search the GitHub issue tracker.
    • Give a step-by-step explanation on how the issue was solved.
    • Ask if there are any questions

 

  • Divide your participants in groups based on their skills (you can use the doodle, and ask those that did not participate in it to join an appropriate group). (40 minutes)
    • Give the groups a list of issues to work on
    • Give them a timeline to work on the issue
    • Circulate between the groups and help them solve the problem
    • Once they solve the problem, ask them to let you know
    • Announce every time a group solves a bug
    • Once a group resolves an issue, they can choose another one

 

Submit fixes 

 

  • After everyone has finished discuss one of the issues that were worked on, and show how to submit (10  minutes)

 

  • Invite all the other groups to submit their issues (10 minutes)

 

  • Check in with each group to make sure that all fixes were submitted correctly (10 minutes)

 

Wrap up

  • Give prizes/acknowledgement to the group that finished first / finished more bugs/ had the best solution (5 minutes)

If you have the time to organize two events, we suggest you organize this follow-up event. (1 hour)

 

Presentation (20 minutes)

 

  • Explain how an issue is reviewed

 

 

Review each other issues!

 

 

  • After that the issue goes back to the group which solved it. They can choose to accept or reject the changes made.  Give them some time to make any adjustment needed. (10 minutes)

 

  • After the group is done adjusting the issue, they can submit it. Help them if that is needed. (20 minutes)

 

Final discussion and wrap up

 

  • Give prizes/acknowledgement to the group that had the best feedback!(10 minutes)

Before the events:

Check all the details of this activity here.

 

Discover the skills of your participants:

 

 

  • If you don’t know the skills of your participants, you can ask them to fill out a survey about it, That would make selecting appropriate bugs and dividing the participants into group easier

 

  • Skills you can ask about: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the most common skills, but there are also others, e.g. HTTP, SVG, or WebAssembly.

 

  • Based on the doodle choose questions you would like your participants to answer. You can either choose
    • General questions about web development.
    • Specific questions asking for help or assessment with the skill tests and assessments that appear on the “Learn web development” section on MDN. If you choose this option, identify which article/task is being assessed, and find the associated marking guide for it.

 

  • Find a good answered question to use an example. We suggest using this one, or this one if you are focusing on general development questions. If you are focusing on Skill tests and assessments this is a great example.

During the event (ca. 1:30 hours)

 

Introduction on MDN

 

 

 

 

Introduction on how to help beginners on MDN (30 minutes)

 

  • Show the example question and answer. Explain why it is a good answer.
    • Remember that a  good answer is not only technically correct, but is also respectful and clear and, where appropriate, will help the person to explore the subject further on their own.
    • If you are working on a skill assessment your participants should not only assess if the exercise is done correctly, but try to expand on what was done well and what could be improved.

 

 

  • Divide people in groups based on skills (use the doodle, and ask people that have not complete it to join groups based on their skills)

 

Answer questions (30 minutes)

 

  • Assign questions to the groups

 

  • Circulate between the groups and help out when needed

 

  • When a group has an answer, help them submit it

 

Close the event

 

  • After everyone has finished, discuss one of the answers given. (5  minutes)

 

  • Give prizes/acknowledgement to the group that you think gave the best answer (5 minutes)

Localization

MDN is currently been localized in 6 languages, in addition to English (check out how you can contribute to localization here)