How to contribute to Hacktoberfest 2022

Participating in Hacktoberfest is a great way to get involved with the open source community wherever you are on your tech journey.
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Diversity team meeting

WOCinTech Chat. Modified by CC BY-SA 4.0

Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration run by DigitalOcean to celebrate and give back to open source projects and software. The initiative is open to everyone, and the goal is to encourage everyone in our global community to contribute to open source. In this article, I'll answer frequently asked questions about how to participate. I'll also discuss how to contribute to both code and non-code issues.

Hacktoberfest started in 2013 with 700 participants, and since then, the initiative has grown. In 2021, DigitalOcean recorded over 141,000 participants with over 294,451 accepted pull requests.

Why should I participate in Hacktoberfest?

Everyone relies on open source projects today. This initiative is a way of giving back, thanking the maintainers and contributors of these projects, and celebrating these projects.

Besides, contributing to open source projects comes with many benefits, from real-world exposure and community recognition to learning how to collaborate while networking, upskilling, getting a tree planted in your name, and getting a Hacktoberfest t-shirt.

Yes, the first 40,000 participants (maintainers and contributors) who get at least four pull requests accepted before the deadline get a tree planted in their name or the Hacktoberfest 2022 t-shirt.

How do I sign up for Hacktoberfest?

Everyone is welcome regardless of experience or skill, whether it's your first or ninth time. To participate, head over to and start hacking. ("Hacking" in this context refers to hacking at code or any given task, and not breaking into somebody's computer.)

You can register anytime in October between September 26 and October 31.

It's a free event, and there's a lot of freedom in participating in the event. Of course, that also means there's responsibility. Like any community, Hacktoberfest has rules. You can get banned if you disobey these rules, such as contributing spammy pull requests or disrupting pull requests made by others. To learn more about the rules, check out the official website.

How can I contribute to Hacktoberfest?

Open source isn't just for developers and people who code. It's for everyone! Hacktoberfest has recently started accepting no-code and low-code contributions, so everyone is included.

You can contribute in various ways, including:

However, you should know that Hacktoberfest prioritizes quality over quantity.

How do I get started in Hacktoberfest?

I wrote a post a year back on how you can contribute to open source projects. It was the first time I heard about "open source" as anything but just a buzzword. Since then, I've contributed to NumPy and docToolchain docs.

All you need to get started in Hacktoberfest is a GitHub or GitLab account, a little knowledge of Git, the desire to contribute, and a repository looking for contributors.

Though Hacktoberfest accepts every form of contribution, each contribution must be made through a pull request to a public, unarchived repository and merged by the repository maintainer. This approach makes it easy for Hacktoberfest to track contributions. To do that, you must learn to use Git.

How can I learn Git?

GitHub and GitLab are public code hosting services that use Git, an open source version control system that allows multiple people to contribute to a project simultaneously. You may find these articles helpful:

Find open source projects participating in Hacktoberfest

Some projects and maintainers get listed during the onboarding and participate in Hacktoberfest. These repositories get tagged with the "Hacktoberfest" label so contributors can easily find them.

To contribute, you need to find these labeled repositories and make some Hacktoberfest contributions.

Use GitHub/GitLab topics to find Hacktoberfest projects

Topics are a great place to get started:

Just search for "Hacktoberfest." You can filter the search results by language if you want to contribute to a project using a specific programming language.

Filter GitHub by language

(Iheagwara Ifeany, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Try a search using GitHub search syntax. For example, searching using this syntax label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open no:assignee on GitHub gives you a list of repositories labeled with "Hacktoberfest" with open issues that have not been assigned to anyone for resolution.

Filter GitHub for unassigned topics

(Iheagwara Ifeany, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ruth Ikegah made a video a couple of days ago about using the GitHub search syntax.

Find non-code issues at Hacktoberfest

Try GitHub syntax by using is:design or is:documentation in your search. The result is a list of repositories labeled "Hacktoberfest" with open documentation or design issues that have not been assigned.

Contribute to Hacktoberfest as a technical writer

  • Looking for projects in need of a blog post? Use label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open no:assignee is:blog
  • Would you rather write or translate documentation? Use label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open no:assignee is:documentation

Contribute to Hacktoberfest as a designer

  • For UI issues, use label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open no:assignee is:UI
  • For design issues, use label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open no:assignee is:design

Start hacking at Hacktoberfest

Hacktoberfest is a great way to give back to the open source community. It's your chance to contribute and get involved. Be respectful when contributing, don't make spammy pull requests, and start hacking!

A boy is the dark wearing a black jacket and a white turtleneck
I am a Data analyst at UrBizEdge and Technical writer at Sematext. I also manage a few communities and contribute to a few open source projects.

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