Open Source doc edits provide a low-stakes way for new users to first contribute. Ideally, new users find opportunities and feel welcome to fix docs as they learn, engaging with the community from the start. But, I found that contributing docs to Airflow had some surprising obstacles.

In this talk, I’ll share my first docs contribution journey, including problems and fixes. For example, you must understand how Airflow uses Sphinx and know when to choose to edit in the GitHub UI or locally. But it wasn’t documented that GitHub renders only Markdown previews and since Sphinx uses markup, you must build docs locally to check formatting; an opportunity for me to add to the Contributor Guide for docs.

In addition to examples of reducing obstacles, this talk covers the importance of docs for community and available resources to start writing. If you already contribute and want to create opportunities for others, I’ll also share characteristics of good first issues and docs projects.