October is almost here, which means one thing for the open source community: it's Hacktoberfest time! In this article, I will talk about Hacktoberfest 2022 as well as other important details that you should know before you start contributing.
What is Hacktoberfest?
Contributions are made by submitting four pull requests (PRs) to any repository participating in Hacktoberfest.
When Hacktoberfest concludes, the first 40,000 participants and maintainers with at least four (4) accepted pull requests will receive prizes such as a t-shirt and a swag pack.
Why contribute to Open Source?
Contributing to open source can be a rewarding way to learn, teach, and gain experience in almost any skill.
What motivates people to contribute to open-source projects? There are numerous reasons for this!
Improve the software you use
Many open source contributors begin as users of the software they contribute to. In this case, the desire to contribute to this open source project stems from a desire to improve it for personal use, either by adding new features and functionalities or by improving specific areas and ensuring that everyone can benefit from it.
Learn and gain experience
Anyone can contribute to an open-source project. Contributing to open-source projects allows new developers to gain coding experience without feeling rushed or exposed to risk.
Establish a reputation and a career
Open source contributions highlight your knowledge and skills more than certificates ever could. This will help you advance your career, whether at your current or potential future employer.
Open source is fun and rewarding
Last but not least, contributing to open-source is a fun way to keep your skills sharp, a place to learn and share experiences in all aspects of software development, and a source of inspiration and support from people all over the world.
Are there any prerequisites?
Hacktoberfest is open to everyone. Whether you are new to development, a student, or a long-time contributor, you can help drive open-source growth and make positive contributions to our community.
The only requirement is a basic understanding of Git and GitHub, as contributions to Hacktoberfest are made via these platforms. To begin contributing, you must first understand how Git works and how to use GitHub or Gitlab.
Here are several articles and tutorials that you can refer to:
- Git and GitHub for Beginners — Crash Course
- How to Contribute to Open Source
- Complete Guide to Open Source — How to Contribute
- Hacktoberfest Practice
- First Contributions
How to register for Hacktoberfest?
The first step is to register for Hacktoberfest. The website is now open for registration, which will get you ready to go.
1. Navigate to the Hacktoberfest website and select Start Hacking or Registration Now Open.
2. You should be taken to an authorization page where you can indicate how you want to participate.
3. When you click Initiate, you will be taken to a login page where you can authorize your account information.
4. Once your account has been authorized, you should be directed back to the Hacktoberfest website.
5. Fill in your name and the email address you'd like to use for Hacktoberfest.
6. Fill out the rest of the form, including information about how you want to participate and other details.
7. When you're finished, click Register.
8. You should be directed to your profile page, where you should see the following:
This means you've completed your registration and are ready to hack!
How can you participate in Hacktoberfest?
Here are some ways you can contribute to open-source projects, including:
- Coding — This is the most obvious way to contribute to a project.
- Design — You can also help by creating or redesigning project assets like landing pages, user interfaces, or illustrations.
- Documentation — Adding documentation to a project or assisting in the improvement of the existing documentation is one of the most basic yet important ways to contribute to it.
- Review — You can also help by reviewing the project code and suggesting better ways to implement the same logic, or you can help the owner find and fix bugs in the project.
- Translation — Text translation from English to another language is required for some projects. However, keep in mind that Hacktoberfest only considers the person who opened the pull request, not the authors of the changes.
Every open-source organization is unique, each has its own set of rules and expectations for contributors, so make sure to read them and contribute accordingly.
Where to find projects for Hacktoberfest?
There are a handful of useful websites which you can use to find projects and issues suited for beginners. Here is a list:
GitHub's Advanced Search provides a large number of filters for finding repositories and issues based on our preferences. We can sort by language, issue labels, number of stars, forks, and so on. Make sure to add
hacktoberfest in the Issue label to make sure it counts toward the four pull requests!
GitHub Topics is a cool feature on GitHub. We can find a specific project with a topic using this. Languages, events, technology, and so on are all possible topics.
If you are a beginner and are having difficulty finding good issues, there is a tag
label:good-first-issue that filters out issues for new contributors.
The First-Timers Only label helps highlight bugs, features, and requests that could be tackled by first-timers.
A web application that lets you find eligible repositories for Hacktoberfest.
What's new this year?
Low-Code or Non-Code Contributions
Open source contributions aren't just for programmers. You have numerous opportunities to use your professional skills in open-source projects. This year's Hacktoberfest places an emphasis on contributions that require little to no technical knowledge. You are welcome to participate in Hacktoberfest regardless of your level of experience!
Here are some ways that someone with no or little technical experience can contribute using low-code or non-code:
Rules for Hacktoberfest
There are two ways to participate in Hacktoberfest: as a maintainer or as a contributor. Maintainers are those who review and manage the project’s pull requests as part of their organization or on their own, while contributors are those who contribute to the project.
The registration period for Hacktoberfest runs from September 26th to October 31st.
- Register for Hacktoberfest between September 26th to October 31st.
- Pick an open source project from the list of GitHub or Gitlab containing
- Have four (4) accepted pull/merge requests between October 1st and October 31st, following the PR/MR rules outlined below.
Rules for Pull / Merge requests
Here are the rules for pull/merge requests to be qualified for Hacktoberfest.
- Submitted PR/MR should be part of participating repository with
- (Or) It should have
- If your PR/MR is accepted for Hacktoberfest through an overall favorable review, it must not be closed.
- PRs are only eligible if they were merged between October 1st and October 31st.
- PRs must not be tagged or labeled with
- PRs must not be tagged with
To opt-in your repository for Hacktoberfest, you can:
- Label the project/repository with
- Label the PR/MR with
hacktoberfest-acceptedtag if they qualify for PR rules.
- Merge these requests during the October 1st and October 31st timelines.
- Reject spammy requests with
Anyone who registered for the Hacktoberfest event in October and successfully merged at least four PRs within the time frame is eligible to receive exclusive swag from the event organizers!
The first 40,000 participants will have the option of having a tree planted in their honor...
… or the official Hacktoberfest swag kit, including a FREE limited-edition T-shirt! as well as some stickers!
I highly encourage and recommend that everyone join the open source community and make their first contribution. It's challenging, great for personal and professional development, and, most importantly, a great way to give back to the community.
Participating in Hacktoberfest is an excellent way to get your feet wet in the open source world. The best way to stay actively involved in the open source community is to make consistent contributions that improve the software you rely on and use daily. You could even become a key contributor to that project one day!
Please share if you found this article useful. Feel free to respond if you have any thoughts, feedback, or comments.
Until next time, happy coding and learning! Cheers!
About the author
Paula Isabel Signo is a technical writer at OSSPH and a web developer at Point One. In her free time, Paula contributes to various open-source projects, volunteers in the community, and shares her knowledge by writing articles and tutorials. Connect with Paula here to learn more about her work and interests.