Hacktoberfest Is Back for Year Six!

Daniel Zaltsman

Posted: September 25, 20194 min read

It’s that time of year again when we come together to support and celebrate the open source technologies we use and love.

For the sixth straight year, Hacktoberfest will bring together people representing more than 150 countries, both online and in person. And while the mission stays the same, the size of the community and the number of contributions continue to grow year over year. In 2018, precisely 105,341 of you signed up and contributed 401,231 pull requests to projects on GitHub. This year we’re expecting closer to 150,000 participants. We hope you’ll be one of them. And we can’t wait to see what each of you contribute!

For those just joining us, welcome! Hacktoberfest is a monthlong celebration of open source software. It was started at DigitalOcean as a way to foster a sense of community and encourage more participation in open source projects. To reward Hacktoberfest contributors, we’ve designed a limited edition T-shirt for those who complete the challenge each year. This year, the first 50,000 participants will be eligible to receive the limited edition shirt.

The program is open to both beginners and veterans, and we welcome all communities. We value learning, being respectful of those before and after us, and prioritizing quality over quantity. Whether you’re new or not, please observe the Code of Conduct for Hacktoberfest.

Making new friends in familiar places

One of the enticing elements of this celebration is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or home to participate. But each year, more and more Hacktoberfest events have been organized since we introduced the Event Kit. In 2018 alone, there were 251 Hacktoberfest events. All of these took place during October and happened in 50 countries. With October five days away, we’re already expecting to exceed last year’s number of events! Wow.

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What can you expect from a Hacktoberfest event? It’s a great opportunity to meet other developers in your local communities and work towards a shared goal. You can find the full list of events on our Events page. If you’re planning to organize an event, be sure to read the entire Event Kit and submit your event via the event submission form. Lastly, if you’re in or around New York City, we invite you to join us at the Hacktoberfest kickoff celebration at the DigitalOcean headquarters.

Participating for the right reasons

Why did we create Hacktoberfest? And why does DigitalOcean invest so much into the event? The truth may surprise you. We believe in using our resources to broaden awareness of open source projects and in reinvesting in our communities. As customers and creators of open source software, this is just one of the ways we reinvest in the people and technology we believe in. It’s also why we try to improve the experience every year, focusing on quality of learning and participation over the quantity of pull requests.

In an effort to encourage thoughtful contributions, we’ve introduced a one-week review period for project maintainers. When a user submits a new PR (ready-to-review, not a draft), we give it a seven-day “grace period” before it becomes a valid Hacktoberfest contribution. This allows time for maintainers to label any spammy PRs as invalid.

What else is new?

Since they launched, we’ve been huge fans of the work being done by the team at DEV. They’ve created a community that’s informative, inclusive, and inspirational where programmers can share ideas and help each other grow. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that DEV will be the co-sponsor of Hacktoberfest 2019. Partnering with DEV means there will be another home for discussing Hacktoberfest, sharing projects, and celebrating wins. If you’re not already using DEV, we hope you’ll participate in the Hacktoberfest chatter on their platform too.

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Changing the world – one PR at a time

This year, we’re also hoping to drive awareness of the negative impacts many people around the world are experiencing due to the many environmental crises we’re faced with – and encourage participation in projects that are targeting these causes. We’ve identified a handful of projects on GitHub that focus on supporting the environment, which you can find in our Climate section. We hope you’ll consider contributing to some of the impactful work being done by activists, scientists, and mission-driven organizations around the globe.

Final considerations

As always, please make sure you read through the Details and FAQs for Hacktoberfest, not only to educate yourself but to be able to help others along the way. Even though many of you live and breathe open source every day, we were all beginners once. Here’s an encouraging reminder of this from last year:

I did it! 🤩 I completed the @digitalocean #Hacktoberfest challenge! Most importantly, I proved myself I was knowledgeable enough and very capable of contributing to #oss! 🙏 Me: 5 / Imposter Syndrome: 0 🔥
— José Postiga (@josepostiga) October 14, 2018

With all of that said, it’s time to get started. Let’s join forces to make a difference! Here is the shiny new Hacktoberfest website we created for you all to enjoy. We hope you’ll get your project and/or company involved, attend an event, and maybe even contribute to something that helps the environment (or any other amazing project). And most importantly, have a happy Hacktoberfest!

Happy Hacking,

Daniel Zaltsman

Senior Manager, Developer Relations


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