Hacktoberfest is an annual event hosted by DigitalOcean and DEV.to promoting and supporting Open Source collaboration. Participation is easy; everyone who registers and submits four pull requests to public GitHub repositories earns a limited edition Hacktoberfest T-shirt.
It's more than a ploy for free gear; it's a celebration of the Open Source ethos, and an opportunity to contribute to new-to-you projects. It’s that tiny extra push you might need to make your first ever Open Source contribution, or fix a nagging issue in an upstream library, or explore a project you’ve had your eye on for a while now. And it's a lot of fun! 🎉
Everyone is Welcome
Hacktoberfest is for everyone, regardless of skill, experience, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, nationality, race, or religion, or any other other-ism you can think of. If you can create a free GitHub account and make a few pull requests, then this event is for YOU!
No contribution is too big or too small, and there are more ways to contribute than writing code. Many projects need help writing and reviewing documentation, designing diagrams or logos, and adding basic repo infrastructure like CONTRIBUTING docs and licenses. If something seems daunting, many project maintainers will happily give you guidance to help get started.
How to Participate
The first thing to do is to register on the official Hacktoberfest page. Then find a project to contribute to! My favorite place to start contributing is with projects I already use. Is there any part of the experience you think could be improved? A bug you found, or a feature that would help? If you’re not inspired by any projects you currently use, GitHub also has a handy list of participating projects--scroll through it; I'm sure you'll find something exciting!
If you use Open Source software at work, you can often even use work time to make contributions to the tools and libraries you use every day. Not only are you building business value, you're also increasing your own proficiency and broadening your experience. Do check with your managers & legal of course! Puppet, Inc. encourages all employees to participate in upstream Open Source projects, but not all companies are that flexible.
(Tangent: if you're a Puppet employee reading this; what are you waiting for? Go find something fun to hack on!)
Help Out With Puppet Projects
Of course, one of our favorite ways for you to participate in Hacktoberfest is by contributing to a Puppet project! We have lots of Open Source projects that we'd love your help with, but finding good starter issues has been a challenge in the past. This year we're making that easier, by presenting them front-and-center in a dashboard just for Hacktoberfest. Poke through the issues on that repository and then follow the instructions in the README to get started making your first PR!
If you have any other questions you can find us in #puppet in the Puppet Community Slack. Happy Hacking!
Lucy Wyman is a software engineer at Puppet.