A Hacktoberfest to bring us together


Posted: September 24, 20205 min read

Hacktoberfest is the monthlong celebration of open source software created by DigitalOcean to honor and uplift the community that we owe a great deal to. From the very early days of DigitalOcean, we’ve strived to invest time and money into open source foundations, projects, and maintainers.

Seven years ago, we kickstarted this celebration along with 676 excited participants contributing to open source projects and earning a limited-edition T-shirt in October. This year, we anticipate hundreds of thousands of developers participating in Hacktoberfest from 150 countries.

It’s especially important for all of us to come together for Hacktoberfest in 2020 while the world undergoes so much change. All of us have been directly impacted – in unique ways – by the global pandemic and its rippling effects on our everyday lives. Our planet is also feeling the harmful effects of global warming, making it imperative for us to band together for the greater good.

This October, let’s join forces and build something positive – virtually, of course.

Our community continues to grow every year

“Our community is bigger than just us” is one of DigitalOcean’s core values. It informs us every day to create products and programs that empower developers and entrepreneurs to easily test their ideas, build their businesses, and realize their dreams.

Hacktoberfest is a great example of our communal impact. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish this program without our powerful and passionate global developer community. Whether you’re brand new to open source or you still remember your days of building with BASIC, this month is for you.

Here’s what the Hacktoberfest community accomplished last year:

  1. 131,841 participants completed 483,127 pull requests on 154,767 repositories
  2. 673 Hacktoberfest events in October in 292 cities in 73 countries
  3. 61,871 participants in 142 countries earning a T-shirt

New experiences in 2020

To meet the demands of 2020, we have implemented changes to Hacktoberfest to help lower the barrier to entry, improve the quality of contributions, and level the hacking playing field. The ground rules still apply. You must complete four valid pull requests to earn a reward. But, we’ve also added a few new additions to make a positive and safe impact this year.

  1. Events are 100% online: Hacktoberfest meetups are a foundational component of this yearly celebration. We all know the value of connecting with new community members to learn and grow. To keep the meetup momentum going, we’ve updated our Hacktoberfest Event Organizer Kit to entirely focus on creating fun and seamless online events. Partnering with Major League Hacking and Mattermost, event organizers can set up an event page and automagically get a dedicated Mattermost chat room.

  2. Pick trees, not tees: Every year, we strive to reduce the environmental impact of Hacktoberfest. By moving all events online, the carbon footprint associated with travel to hack nights is entirely removed. Still, this is not enough; we’ll also be paying for the carbon offsets associated with shipping 70,000 shirts around the world. Lastly, in partnership with the folks at Tree-Nation, we’re introducing the option to plant a tree instead of receiving a T-shirt as a reward.

  3. September was for Preptember: In an effort to give the community more time to get ready for Hacktoberfest, we officially announced September as the month for preparation. It has been a month full of learning how to make quality pull requests and giving maintainers more time to groom their repositories in preparation for Hacktoberfest. With 5 days left in September, we encourage you all to explore the resources we’ve provided.

We look forward to seeing all the ways in which you participate in these new experiences and hope they will enable you to be a more active and collaborative member of the open source community.

We’re in this together

This year’s Hacktoberfest promises to be the best yet because we have some phenomenal partners to help amplify your projects and contributions. Intel joins us this year alongside our previous partners, DEV. We are extremely honored to have these folks along for 2020 as well as the teams at Vonage, JetBrains, Circle CI, and our good friends at GitHub. Hacktoberfest would not be possible without all of our partners jumping on board and helping us spread the word to even more participants around the globe.

Here are some of the offerings our partners are providing to elevate your experience:

  • Intel’s IntelPython, OpenVINO, and Kubernetes projects are all getting involved this year.
  • Show off your projects and find open source contributors for Hacktoberfest by dropping your project into this thread on DEV. You’ll need a DEV account, which you can sign up for here.
  • Read Github’s guide to maintaining open source projects.
  • Easily set up your event with Major League Hacking’s event template and have it featured on the Hacktoberfest site.
  • Receive a dedicated Mattermost chat room channel for your event attendees.
  • Hosting daily office hours live on Twitch, with expert coaches and special guests.

Happy Hacktoberfest, everybody!

While the world keeps spinning, we are all fortunate to pause and take a breath to appreciate what we have. This Hacktoberfest is a reminder that we have the power to realize our dreams and build a better future together with open source software.

If you’ve…

never contributed to open source software on GitHub,

been excited to learn and play with a new programming language,

postponed documenting your project’s features,

put off fixing that bug for one of your favorite projects,

been too overwhelmed to attend a developer hack night,

waited all year long to celebrate open source software and earn a limited edition T-shirt,

…Hacktoberfest is here to make all the above possible.

If you have any questions about how Hacktoberfest works, please visit the FAQ page. To attend a virtual event, visit the event listing page. For direct learning experiences from industry experts, sign up for Tech Talks. We look forward to seeing what you build.

Happy Hacking!

DigitalOcean Team

*** An update on efforts to reduce spam with Hacktoberfest: introducing maintainer opt-in and more.***

Thank you to everyone who has reached out with ideas and suggestions to help Hacktoberfest live its values of celebrating and fostering the open source community.

After working closely with our friends at GitHub, we are happy to introduce a new measure to help significantly reduce the amount of spammy contribution. We’re making Hacktoberfest 2020 opt-in only for projects – which maintainers can do simply by adding the ‘hacktoberfest’ topic to a repository.

This was one of the primary requests from maintainers and we are hopeful that it will help alleviate some of the issues you’ve been facing.

We will honor all valid pull requests prior to this change, and as of October 3, 2020 at 12:00:00 UTC – and October 3 in all time zones – pull requests will only count toward earning a T-shirt or planting a tree if they are labeled as ‘hacktoberfest-accepted’ by a maintainer, or submitted in a repository classified with the ‘hacktoberfest’ topic. Pull requests in repositories with the ‘hacktoberfest’ topic will also need to be merged, approved by a maintainer, or labeled as ‘hacktoberfest-accepted’ in order to qualify. The deadline for completions, merging, labeling, and approving is November 1.

Learn more about the changes we’ve made that will affect your participation.

DigitalOcean Team


Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!Sign up

Related Articles

A look back at the second official year of DO Impact

A look back at the second official year of DO Impact

Admas Kanyagia

February 9, 20244 min read

Accelerate your ISV journey with DigitalOcean's powerful cloud platform in 2024

Accelerate your ISV journey with DigitalOcean's powerful cloud platform in 2024

Aaqib Gadit

January 22, 20243 min read

Hacktoberfest Post-Event Survey Results

Hacktoberfest Post-Event Survey Results

Phoebe Quincy

January 17, 20245 min read