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.
- Why should I participate in Hacktoberfest?
- How do I sign up for Hacktoberfest?
- How can I contribute to Hacktoberfest?
- How do I get started in Hacktoberfest?
- Find open source projects participating in Hacktoberfest
- Find non-code issues at Hacktoberfest
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.
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.
Everyone is welcome regardless of experience or skill, whether it's your first or ninth time. To participate, head over to Hacktoberfest.com 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.
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:
- Making code contributions
- Resolving an issue
- Writing and translating technical documentation
- Introducing a new feature in an existing open source project
- Designing, video production and editing, and graphic design
- Advocacy by podcasts, case studies, blog posts, or social media posts
However, you should know that Hacktoberfest prioritizes quality over quantity.
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:
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.
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.
Ruth Ikegah made a video a couple of days ago about using the GitHub search syntax.
Try GitHub syntax by using
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!