Editorial lead or Nix expert – Documentation Project 2023 (NixOS Foundation)

tl;dr We are looking for an editorial lead and a Nix expert to support the Nix documentation team in a short-term paid position.

The Nix documentation team is planning a concerted effort to substantially improve a crucial part of the Nix onboarding experience.

The goal is to design a learning journey ranging from the first encounter with Nix to mastering the skills needed to leverage common use cases. As a minimum viable product, we want to build a curriculum and associated lesson plans, oriented around user needs and according to best practices. As stretch goals, we aim to implement particular lessons identified as the most impactful to new users.

The project is to be executed in three phases.
See the full project description for details.

Thanks to generous contributions from flox, Anduril Industries, and many individual sponsors donating through Open Collective, as well as continued sponsoring of the documentation effort by Antithesis, we now have funding for the first phase, covering four weeks of activities.

We are looking to fill the two designated roles of editorial lead and Nix expert who will work together as a project team.
Both are expected to do the heavy lifting in the project, guided and supported by the Nix documentation team (@fricklerhandwerk) and the Learning Journey Working Group (@zmitchell).

Editorial lead

The editorial lead will take responsibility for the overall project and its success. The role’s focus is to facilitate or carry out all activities necessary to reach the project’s objectives.

Expected are a qualification or a track record in didactics or technical writing, strong written and verbal communication skills in English, as well as experience in project management. A technical background is a strong plus.

Nix expert

The Nix expert shall be available for answering technical questions concerning Nix ecosystem specifics to everyone involved. The main concern is guiding the curriculum design, and introducing participants to the Nix ecosystem’s particularities. We can expect issues to emerge in the process, and the Nix expert will be responsible for addressing them within the project’s timeline as far as possible.

Expected are a thorough technical background, Nix expertise demonstrable by notable contributions to source code and development discussions in the Nix ecosystem, and good collaboration skills.

Initial tasks

The main goal of the first phase, after an orientation period, is to clarify and refine the project objectives, and derive tasks that can be carried out autonomously by assignees.

Specifically, we envision the following activities for the planning phase:

  • Evaluate and revise the approach for designing the learning journey, and determine whether the learning goals are suitable
  • Collaborate with the documentation team to assess the existing major use cases, and map out the skills and steps required to fulfill the tasks in those cases
  • Create a refined project plan, including intermediate objectives and tasks
  • Design a concrete evaluation strategy

The refined project plan is also intended be used as a basis to solicit funding for the subsequent phases.
Regardless of funding success, we expect the project team to produce materials the volunteers could work with at their own pace if needed.

Ideally, the implementation and evaluation phase should be carried out by the same project team.
We are aiming for a continued collaboration as far as resources allow.

Workload and compensation

Editorial lead: 20 hours per week for 4 weeks

Nix expert: 10 hours per week for 4 weeks

The compensation is 50 USD per hour, adjusted according to the Google Summer of Code Purchasing Power Parity table.

Get in touch

Please apply by contacting @fricklerhandwerk directly on any of:

In your brief application, we ask you to focus on:

  • Why and how you could help people learn Nix
  • A highlight from your qualification or track record
  • Asking educated questions about what you need to know to get going

Applications are open until Wednesday 2023-05-11 (3 weeks from today), and we will announce the result until Thursday 2023-05-25 (2 weeks later).


The Nix documentation team is pleased to announce that @maj and @roberth will take charge of the project as Editorial Lead and Nix Expert respectively, supported by @zmitchell (sponsored by flox) and @fricklerhandwerk (sponsored by Antithesis) as well as the volunteers on the documentation team. We had received a total of six applications.

With the current budget in Open Collective we expect the bulk of the project to be completed in the next 8-12 weeks.

If you or your organisation have an interest in improving the learning and onboarding experience in the Nix ecosystem, please consider donating money such that we can complete the project. One of our main goals is to make it easier for volunteers to add and maintain documentation in the long run.

We hope that by the end of the year, if you want to support the project non-financially, contributing documentation will be a good use of your time, and a great opportunity for learning or becoming more expert in all things Nix while helping all other users.