Blog Cover

Hacktoberfest: A Programmer's Guide to Open Source Celebration

Author profile image
Aitor Alonso

Sep 23, 2023

3 min read

As programmers, we live for the thrill of coding, the joy of problem-solving, and the satisfaction of creating something meaningful. And what better way to channel that passion than by participating in Hacktoberfest? It's that time of year again when open source enthusiasts worldwide unite to celebrate their love for coding, collaboration, and community. In this article, I'll take a programmer's perspective on Hacktoberfest, diving into what it's all about, why it's worth your time, and how to make the most of this exciting event.

What exactly is Hacktoberfest?

Hacktoberfest, an annual event held every October, is a programmer's paradise. Launched in 2013 by DigitalOcean in collaboration with GitHub and other tech giants, this month-long celebration revolves around one simple premise: contributing to open source projects. The challenge is clear: make four valid pull requests (PRs) to open source repositories during October, and you'll earn yourself some exclusive swag.

Why should programmers participate?

  • Championing Open Source: Open source software forms the foundation of our coding universe. Hacktoberfest is a golden opportunity to give back to the community that has fueled our tech journeys.

  • Skills supercharge: Hacktoberfest offers a unique platform to sharpen your coding skills. You'll work on real-world projects, collaborate with seasoned developers, and soak up their feedback like a sponge.

  • Networking goldmine: Engaging in Hacktoberfest connects you with fellow programmers, making you part of the vibrant open source community. These connections can pave the way for future collaborations or even exciting job prospects.

  • Swag galore: Yes, you read that right! DigitalOcean and friends are generously giving away Hacktoberfest-themed merchandise to participants who rise to the challenge. Sporting that coveted Hacktoberfest t-shirt is a badge of honor.

How to dive in

Ready to embark on your Hacktoberfest journey? Here's the blueprint:

  • Sign up: Head over to the Hacktoberfest website and register with your GitHub account (In 2023, registration is available from 26st September to 31st October). This is your ticket to tracking your progress.

  • Scout for projects: Explore the Hacktoberfest website or GitHub's repositories to uncover projects that pique your interest. You can filter them by language, difficulty, or category.

  • Start contributing: Once you've spotted a project, dive into its contribution guidelines and issues. Make sure you've got a handle on their code of conduct and contribution rules.

  • Craft Pull Requests: Get down to business—fix bugs, add nifty features, or enhance documentation in your chosen project. Create four valid pull requests during October. Stick to the project's coding standards.

  • Track and triumph: Keep tabs on your Hacktoberfest profile to gauge your progress. Ensure your pull requests are tagged with "hacktoberfest-accepted" to count towards your challenge.

  • Completion and revelry: After completing those four PRs, it's time to celebrate your coding prowess. Look out at your inbox for an email to claim your swag.

Tips to ace Hacktoberfest

  • Handpick projects: Choose projects that align with your interests and skill level. This ensures your contributions are both enjoyable and impactful.

  • Document dive: Dedicate time to understand the project's goals and guidelines. It's the key to making meaningful contributions.

  • Collaborate freely: Don't hesitate to seek assistance from project maintainers or the community. Open source thrives on collaboration.

  • Quality rules: Prioritize quality contributions over rushing to complete the challenge. Make your mark on the project with valuable contributions.

  • Doc love: Remember, enhancing project documentation is a valuable contribution. Clear documentation benefits everyone who uses the software.

In conclusion

With Hacktoberfest on the horizon, it's time to rev up those coding engines. Whether you're a seasoned coder or just embarking on your programming adventure, Hacktoberfest has something for everyone. So, clear your schedule, prep your GitHub account, and join the global tribe of open source enthusiasts. Let's celebrate the magic of collaboration, innovation, and paying it forward in the tech world. Happy coding!

I hope my article has helped you, or at least, that you have enjoyed reading it. I do this for fun and I don't need money to keep the blog running. However, if you'd like to show your gratitude, you can pay for my next coffee(s) with a one-time donation of just $1.00. Thank you!