Hacktoberfest: Nine years of supporting open source projects through contribution

Phoebe Quincy

Posted: November 22, 20224 min read

Hacktoberfest #9 has officially ended and we are so humbled and grateful to the community for contributing to another amazing year! During this month-long celebration of open source software, we invite individuals around the world to join us by contributing to open source projects, and developers of all skill levels donate their time to support the community.

At the core of Hacktoberfest is a commitment to supporting open source projects and a desire to provide meaningful connections within the community, educating new-comers to open-source and encouraging experienced contributors alike. We’re thrilled that this year, 146,891 people from 194 different countries registered for Hacktoberfest and completed a total of 335,000 contributions during the month of October. In fact, Hacktoberfest has contributed 2.35 million accepted pull/merge requests to open source projects in its nine years.

hacktoberfest tweet

Hacktoberfest 2022 highlights

A focus on low and no code contributions. This year, we wanted to raise awareness that there are many ways to contribute to open source. Open source projects need all kinds of talent, both technical and non-technical. We highlighted areas where contributors could use their professional skills in support of open source through low-or-no-code contributions, and 54% of Hacktoberfest registrants this year indicated they were interested in contributing to projects through low-or-no-code.

Participants can show off accomplishments with shareable digital badges. New in 2022 were shareable digital badges (not NFTs!) created in conjunction with Holopin. Participants earned badges for registering and completing each of their PR/MRs up to the goal of four for Hacktoberfest. They could then show off their badges on Twitter, GitHub, GitLab, LinkedIn, and more.

hacktoberfest tweet badges

On-theme Hacktoberfest swag. Hacktoberfest swag changes to align with each year’s new theme. If you were one of the 40,000 winners who received a reward kit with nods to sci-fi and manga, we’d love to see pictures of you in your t-shirt (tag us with @hacktoberfest and use #hacktoberfest)! If you completed Hacktoberfest but didn’t get a shirt, you can still claim a tree which we’ll plant on your behalf through our friends at Tree-Nation.

Community-focused workshops and events. DigitalOcean held a weekly livestream during the month of October. We shared best practices, showed how to do low to non-code contributions, explored more advanced technical topics together, shared your stories of Hacktoberfest and much more.

Check out the events here:

Creating a community online. The Hacktoberfest Community is lively and active and they shared their enthusiasm over social media. Through their posts we learned that Hacktoberfest helped advance their careers, develop new passions, level up their skills, inspire mentorship. Open source projects belonging to startups and young companies who participated received help improving their open source projects, which helped grow their businesses. Keep in touch with our community by joining the over 59,000 developers on the Hacktoberfest community on Discord.

How we made a difference

Historically, Hacktoberfest has allowed us to build a deeper relationship with the open source community by enabling us to achieve far more collaboration and improving access to our projects for the ever-growing developer community. Hacktoberfest 2022 was no different. We saw various impactful contributions, like new function runtimes, external adapters for various services, function examples, blog posts, demo applications, and much more.

This year, in keeping with 2021 and the updates made during 2020, we stringently enforced our rules to prevent spam. Maintainers were able to flag any spammy PR/MRs with a “spam” label, and participants with two or more PR/MRs identified as spam would be disqualified permanently. The Hacktoberfest community were also able to help with repositories that were designed to cheat Hacktoberfest, reporting them on our website so that we could review and exclude them.

Most importantly, Hacktoberfest remained opt-in this year. Maintainers that wanted to participate in Hacktoberfest added the “hacktoberfest” topic to their repository on GitHub or GitLab, allowing participants to quickly find those that were looking for contributions. Over 125k repositories opted-in on GitHub for Hacktoberfest 2022, with another 800 joining from GitLab.

“For the first time ever, we collaborated with designers in the open source community to assist our team with usability testing of Appwrite’s new console. These contributions allowed us to increase our range of offerings and decrease friction for developers joining our ecosystem. Hacktoberfest has been substantially impactful in progressing Appwrite’s journey both as an open source project and a company, and we hope to continue participating in the years to come!”—Eldad Fux, Founder and CEO, Appwrite

“A few months back, we introduced Docker Extensions. Developers liked the personalization possibilities the new tool brought on and kept on suggesting ideas for new Extensions. As a result of their interest, we decided to join Hacktoberfest 2022 and offer our community a collaborative space to co-create their Extensions. Now that we are sending out swag to our best contributors, it’s time to reflect back on Hacktoberfest. We end up October with new users, great new extensions, fixed bugs, and several hands-on evenings worldwide sourced by our fantastic community. Thank you for making it possible!” —Alba Roza, Senior Community Relations Manager, Docker

“At Holopin, as engineers we’ve always been big fans of Hacktoberfest, so we were all looking forward to partnering with DigitalOcean. So much happens behind the scenes! I’m convinced that the DigitalOcean team behind Hacktoberfest are superhumans. Thousands of developers manifested their love for Hacktoberfest and Open Source in the form of sharing their Holopin badges on socials. In total, Holopin distributed over 500,000 badges as part of the event. An equivalent stack of physical stickers would be taller than the Seattle Space Needle. Isn’t that wild?!”—Elena Lape, Founder and CEO, Holopin

There’s much more open source love to come from us at DigitalOcean—we look forward to more community building in the future!

Phoebe Quincy, Senior Community Relations Manager | Open Source Programs


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