Join the Hacktoberfest and Become an open-source Ninja

Join the most popular event in October and help to make open-source even greater

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The hacktoberfest, which is different from the Oktoberfest (beer drinking festival in Germany), is a special event that occurs during the month of October. Starting the 1st of October it celebrates contributions to the open-source community.

The Hacktoberfest features over 32k issues to be fixed on GitHub over 72k different repositories. There are libraries and packages for everyone, so there’s really no excuse to join. There’s help needed for all profiles, from developers to translators, to people willing to help with documentation.


How Does it Work?

The process is very simple:

  1. Register for the event at https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/
  2. Submit 4 pull requests on one of the featured packages (though not limited to just those)
  3. Get a free shirt or get the option to plant a tree

It’s that easy. The idea behind Hacktoberfest is not to get in the way of contributions. It is all about contributing to the open-source community and getting yourself involved.

They also featured some events which are scheduled throughout the month which can also be seen on the event website (https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/).


What do I get from joining?

The good people of DigitalOcean offer a free t-shirt or the option to plant a tree for those who complete 4 pull requests during the time of the event. However, that’s not really a good reason to join, you should join for the following reasons:

Getting started into open source

If you are not an open-source contributor already, this is a great opportunity to get started. The community prepares for this event creating and labeling issues in all levels of complexity, so that it’s easier to find a project to get started with; and this is not a minor thing, many people I know who I help with their first contributions into open source have the problem of being overwhelmed by the number of projects and issues available on GitHub, they usually don’t know where to start and this is perfect for those with that problem.

Additionally, many project maintainers are more than willing to be helping people with their contributions, and the community in general is quite open to helping from discord to slack channels, websites, during the whole month everyone is going to be talking about this.

Gain experience

All projects involved in the Hacktoberfest are real, popular, with great codebases projects and they can provide real challenges in order to solve the open issues. Here are some of the benefits of working with open-source projects:

  • Get the chance to read other people’s code (perhaps from multiple contributors)
  • Get your code reviewed by experts who will guide you to make sure your contributions are in great shape
  • Learn how to interpret issues generated by users and translate them into code
  • Get experience debugging complex code and scenarios
  • You can showcase your contributions on your next interview

Be a part of the community

No matter what you do, it is super likely that you benefit from open-source projects, perhaps not directly, but indirectly by some service you consume that depends on open-source code, and all thanks to the amazing people that night and day are contributing to projects all over the world all year long.

As developers we have the amazing opportunity of helping that and being a part of that amazing community, and we should take it and enjoy it. There’s great gratification when you submit a pull request and get accepted, makes us proud and we know that now we made something in the world better, isn’t that nice?


How do I start?

If you already know how GitHub works and you know the concept for pull requests (or merge requests) then you are pretty good to just sign up on the event website (https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/) and start contributing.

However, if you are not sure about how to do any of that I recommend that you join discussion groups on discord or slack, or you can always use Twitter to ask for some support.

I’ll be active the whole month helping as many of you as I can, and I’ll be active on discord and Twitter.

On Discord I’ll be available on the “Commit your Code” community at https://discord.gg/SX4ZdT

And you can always follow me and message me on twitter @bajcmartinez


Conclusion

This event is for people with all levels of experience, from programmers, to translators, to documenters. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s great for open-source and the world.

Let’s join and make a project better!

Thanks for reading!

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