Posted in 2019

New Configuration File

We are happy to announce the new version of the Read the Docs configuration file (v2).

If you are a recurrent Read the Docs user, chances are that you’ve configured your projects using a .readthedocs.yml file.

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Tips for Getting a Developer Interview

Over the last month, the Read the Docs team conducted 30-40 customer development interviews with hiring managers and recruiters at companies ranging from 5-person companies to the biggest names in tech. We wanted to learn more about hiring processes at various companies with the ultimate goal of building a product to help companies find developers.

Last time, we covered some tips for hiring managers based on what companies told us they were doing. This time, we put together tips for candidates looking for their next job based on insights we heard from hiring managers.

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Defaulting New Projects to Python 3

New projects that are just getting started with Read the Docs will now use Python 3 by default. While it is still possible to configure your project to use Python 2.7 with our configuration file, we think it’s important to help push the Python ecosystem towards adopting Python 3.

Our default Python version is currently Python 3.7. Projects can also select Python versions 3.6 and 3.5 using our default build image. We will eventually remove support for building projects with Python versions 3.3 and 3.4, however it is still possible to select a build image with support for either version.

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Improved Search

Have you ever struggled with a poorly documented software project? What about a well documented project but you can’t find the right section inside the docs? The Read the Docs core team has realized the importance of good search for documentation and got me to take the challenge as a Google Summer of Code student. The main goal of my GSoC project was to refactor the search code together with upgrading the backend search engine, as well as adding more features to our search functionality like exact match search, case insensitive search, search as you type, suggestions and more.

Google Summer of Code is a global program where students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project. The core team of Read the Docs proposed some Project Ideas, one of them was Refactor & improve our search code. I (Safwan Rahman) was keen to get my hands dirty with Elasticsearch and grasped the opportunity to do so by applying for this project and I got accepted.

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Lessons From and For Hiring Managers

Over the last four weeks, the Read the Docs team did dozens of customer development interviews with engineering hiring managers. We wanted to learn more about hiring processes at various companies with the ultimate goal of building a product to help companies find developers. We talked to people looking for talent at five person companies all the way up to the biggest names in tech. In this post, I am going to cover some of the common things we heard from hiring managers and share some ways for hiring managers to improve their company’s process. In our next post in this series, I will have some actionable tips for job seekers based on the same interviews.

Since this is a long post, I figured I’d share some of the key takeaways:

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Incoming Webhook Deprecations

In the coming weeks and months, Read the Docs will be moving some projects away from our legacy incoming webhooks, towards our per-project webhook integrations.

Our legacy incoming webhooks were our first attempt at allowing providers like GitHub to automatically trigger builds on for projects on Read the Docs. These webhooks lacked a number of security features, and so, about two years ago, we replaced these with per-project webhook integrations instead. We added a number of features to per-project webhook integrations at the time, and we stopped new projects from using the old incoming webhooks.

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Read the Docs 2018 Stats

2018 was another good year for Read the Docs. We’ve settled into a sustainability model that is working for us, and have a team of 5 folks working full-time on the project.

Here are our stats for the past year, which we’ve published for the past 6 years. This is part of our effort to be transparent in our organization, as well as our source code.

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