So you want to contribute to the blog? That’s great! Here’s how you can do it:


Our blog is hosted on GitHub Pages, a static HTML hosting provider from GitHub. We use the normal GithHb Tools, like Issues, Markdown, and Pull-Requests to manage our blog as well. The process is as usual: either via Fork, Write, Pull-Request (for git/github users), or the Wiki, Issues, and emails. If you do not know what Forking means, you probably want to skip right to the second way of doing it

Fork » Write » Pull-Reqest

The source of the blog can found in the repository of the OpenTechSchool account. Simply fork the repository by clicking on the “Fork” on the top right.

Starting Jekyll

This creates your own version of the repository in your account, which you can clone onto your computer. The tool that github pages are hosted on is called jeykll. If you like to see a preview of what it looks like rendered, you should install and run it inside the newly created repo via:

$ jekyll --serve --auto

Then point your browser to http://localhost:4000

Create a post

Now you can create a new blog post via the rake command like this:

rake post title="My Awesome Day at OpenTechSchool" date="2012-05-24"

Which creates a new file for you in the _posts/ folder with the name of exactly that date and the title. This will be used by jekyll to put the date into the post meta information as well. So if you want to change the date of the post, rename the file.

The metadata

Once you open that newly created file, you’ll find that there is a header section encapsulated by three dashes and a first include directive like this:

layout: post
title: "My Awesome Day at OpenTechSchool"
description: ""
tags: []
{% include JB/setup %}

This top part is metadata information in the YAML-Format. We generally do not use the description and category, so feel free to removes those lines. Instead you can add an author (with your name as the value), an image (if you provide a nice teaser picture with your post), and a teaser, which would be shown on the index-page instead of the whole content. On top, we have build-in support for google-groups-signup forms.

A great example on how to use all of those is in the blog post _posts/ Take a peek there if you are unsure whether you are doing it right.

The content

Everything under these lines is published as the content of the blog post. You can simply write it down as you feel appropriate and if you want to do some formatting, please look how to do this via markdown, which is the syntax we are using. Again, peeking at any other blog post that makes it look the way you want it to, will probably help.

Commit, push, Pull-Request

Once you are done and happy with the rendered result of your blog post, add it to the git repository, commit the file and push it onto your github fork. Then go to your repository on github and click on “Pull Request” to make these changes be issued to the content team. They will now review your post and do some copyediting (if necessary) before it gets published.

You’ll be notified about that by an update on your pull-request.

Via Wiki and Issues

Now, if you are not too familiar with git and github but still want to write a blog post, there is a second way to do it. It is not as complex but also less powerful (for example, you can’t really attach any pictures easily): via the wiki and issues.

Create a new wiki page

Simply go to and click on “New Page”. Now it is useful to prefix the title of the page with BlogPost: and then give it the title of the post you want to do. This brings you to the editor.

Make sure the editor is set to “markdown” (on the right above the text-field). Now write your blog-post there and click “save”.

Submit for review

Once you are done with your blog post, copy the link of it, go to “Issues” and create a new issue by clicking on “New Issue”. As a title give the title of your blog post again and then post the URL to the wiki-page into the comment field. This will now be submitted to Team Content, who will review, copyedit and publish the blog post for you.

Once published, you’ll receive a notification about your issue being closed. The Wiki-page might get removed by the team during the process as well.

Report a problem