Get acquainted with Hacktoberfest, the Annual Open Source Event

IT People Blog – In 2020, the author was introduced by a colleague about the Hacktoberfest event. At that time the author still did not want to participate. Given the author is still new in the world of programming. However, actually it is not a problem, because anyone can participate in this activity without even having basic programming.

Yes, anyone can participate in this open source activity, as long as the intentions are good and follow it voluntarily.

In this article, the author will discuss about Hacktoberfest, starting with what Hacktoberfest is.

What is Hacktoberfest?

Hacktoberfest is a movement to contribute to open source projects. This movement took place during the month of October via the Github and Gitlab platforms.

The event takes place online worldwide. So, wherever you are, you can follow Hacktoberfest.

What is Hacktoberfest?

After participating in Hacktoberfest, we will get prizes or rewards in the form of t-shirts and stickers from sponsors and partners of this event.

Don’t worry, this reward will be sent to their respective homes via courier. It will take a long time to arrive, because they ship all over the world. What’s more, the stock of goods sent is not just one or several, but many!

Main Purpose of Hacktoberfest

Hacktoberfest aims to invite people to contribute to open source projects. When you hear the word open source, you might think of Linux.

Does that mean we should contribute to Linux? Of course not, open source isn’t just about Linux.

Open Source is a way of developing software that is open to the public.

Open Source has changed the software ecosystem in recent times. Microsoft, which used to be “anti-open source” is now very supportive of the open source movement. In fact, released many open source products and acquired Github.

Through this Hacktoberfest event, we are invited to be involved in developing software or software based on open source.

Because thanks to the open source movement, software is developing very quickly. So don’t be surprised if we see that every now and then a new framework is present, every now and then a new technology emerges.

I Don’t Understand Programming, Can I Join Hacktoberfest?

Yep! Of course, I can. Actually what you need to be able to join Hacktoberfest is the ability to use Git and Github.

Coding skills are needed too, but that doesn’t mean we have to contribute in the form of code.

If you can speak English and Indonesian, you can help translate some open source projects into Indonesian.

For example the Electorn project, they need a translation for their documentation website.

Why Should I Participate in Hacktoberfest?

Receiving limited edition t-shirts and stickers is cool, but there’s an even more important reason to participate in Hacktoberfest. Whether you are a manager or a participant, you will definitely learn and benefit a lot from Hacktoberfest.

Get acquainted with Hacktoberfest

A. Benefits as a Maintainer (Repository Manager)

As a repository manager, Hacktoberfest allows you to grow your community. By participating in Hacktoberfest, your repository will receive more traffic from developers who want to participate.

So even when Hacktoberfest ends, if these developers like the experience of contributing to your repository, they’ll be back to help with more issues.

Managing open source projects can be difficult, especially since you may be short on time to scale up and expand projects as a maintainer. So, Hacktoberfest is a good time to receive help on issues that have been pending for a while or improvements you can make to improve your project.

B. Benefits as a Participant (Participant)

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or not, there is always room to learn and expand your knowledge. One of the best ways to do this is by contributing to an open source project.

Open source projects usually provide tools, libraries, or other types of resource services to the community for free. Contributing to them and helping them to keep going is very helpful for the community, and ultimately for yourself.

Because every project is different, each may depend on the programming language, framework, tool, or other type of resource they use or provide. By contributing to them, you’ll take the time to check out how they work, what they use, and so on. You also take the time to troubleshoot problems or issues in projects or bring new improvements to the table.

So when you contribute, you’re also up for new challenges to solve, which is a great way to learn and practice your skills.

If you are a beginner, by participating in Hacktoberfest, you can finally overcome the fears that might be preventing you from contributing to open source projects. Through Hacktoberfest, the author finally begins the author’s journey in contributing to open source projects.

How to Participate in Hacktoberfest As a Maintainer (Manager)

As a maintainer, you need to do the following to make sure your repository participates in Hacktoberfest:

1. Add the Hacktoberfest label to the repository.

2. Add a Hacktoberfest label to issues so attendees can know which issues they can address. This is also useful if you want to draw participants to a simpler problem they can start with.

3. Add the contribution guide to your repository at contributing.md. This is necessary to ensure that participants know how to contribute to your source code. This saves you and them time and ensures commit history and source code are kept clean and based on your project conventions.

Read also: Get to know the department of informatics engineering

This year, Hacktoberfest will not only reward participants who have submitted at least 4 pull requests, but also maintainers!

How to Participate in Hacktoberfest as a Participant

Participating in Hacktoberfest is easy. Here are the steps you must take to start participating:

1. Find the repository that has been “voted” for Hacktoberfest. This means a repository that has the label “hacktoberfest”.

2. In this repository, see their Issues tab. You should try to specifically find problems with the hacktoberfest label, as the maintainers will make sure to use that label with any issue they think is best for Hacktoberfest attendees. However, you can still vote for any issue that you think is appropriate and can be donated.

3. Before working on any problem, be sure to comment on it and you are assigned to that problem. This saves you and the manager time and avoids any possible misunderstandings.

4. Once you’ve been given an issue, be sure to read the contribution guidelines found in any repository on contributing.md. These guides usually cover details about the codebase, how to contribute to different parts of the project, what you should or shouldn’t do, and more.

5. If after the contribution guide you are still confused about certain details, you should not hesitate to ask the repository maintainer a question. You can do this by commenting on issues or using the ‘discussion tab’ which should be part of the repository.

6. Once everything is clear, proceed to fork the repository, create a new branch, do the task you’ve been given, and when you’re finally done, send a pull request with all the necessary details based on the repository you contributed.

7. If the time is running out, it means that your pull request has been sent at the end of October and the manager can’t merge it in the near future, ask the manager to add the label that hacktoberfest received into your pull request. That way, it will still count towards your participation.

The final word

There are so many open source projects looking for your support and contribution, are you interested in joining the movement this coming October? If you have any experience or problems while participating in this event, please comment below!

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