Open Source at Its (Hacktober)best

Posted: November 15, 20164 min read

The third-annual Hacktoberfest, which wrapped up October 31, brought a community of project maintainers, seasoned contributors, and open-source beginners together to give back to many great projects. It was a record setting year which confirmed the power of communities in general, and specifically the open source community.

Here’s what you accomplished in a nutshell:

  • 📈 92,569 total PRs were opened this Hacktoberfest, up from 49,000 last year
  • 📂 29,287 total repos were contributed to
  • 💝 Most popular projects included Homebrew Cask and Home Assistant
  • 👕 10,227 people completed the challenge and will receive shirts this year

In this post, we’ll get more into numbers and will share some stories from contributors, maintainers, and communities across the world.


We put the challenge out there and you stepped up to exceed it! Congratulations to both first-time open source contributors and experienced contributors who set aside time and resources to push the needle forward for thousands of open source projects.

This year, we had a record number of contributors from around the world participate:

  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 29,616 people signed up to participate
  • 🌍 Contributions came in from 114 countries

Developers around the world shared their stories with us, explaining what Hacktoberfest meant to them. One contributor who completed the challenge said:

I am a senior computer science student but have always been too intimidated to submit to other open github projects. Hacktoberfest gave me a reason to do that and I am really glad I did. I will for sure be submitting a lot more in the future.

Aditya Dalal from Homebrew Cask went from being a Hacktoberfest contributor in 2015 to being a project maintainer in 2016:

I actually started contributing to Open Source in a meaningful way because of Hacktoberfest. Homebrew Cask was a convenient tool in my daily usage, and Hacktoberfest provided an extra incentive to contribute back. Over time, I continued contributing and ended up as a maintainer, focusing on triaging issues and making the contribution process as simple as possible (which I like to think we have succeeded at).


A HUGE and very special shout out goes out to project maintainers. Many of you added “Hacktoberfest” labels (+15,000) to project issues and tweeted out your projects, encouraging others to join in on the fun. We know that Hacktoberfest makes things busier than usual. Thank you for setting a great example for future project maintainers—without you, Hacktoberfest wouldn’t be possible!

Some maintainers went out of their way to make sure contributors had a great experience:

Nice job @IamAdiSri scoring a #hacktoberfest PR on @osquery!
— Nick Anderson (@PoppySeedPlehzr) October 21, 2016

@IAmWillMadison, thanks for contributing to our #Golang Rest HTTP Client open source library, happy #hacktoberfest!🙌
— SendGrid (@SendGrid) October 21, 2016

…and others created awesome challenges:

#Chocolatey is participating in @digitalocean#hacktoberfest#hacktoberfest - A few lucky folks will additionally get this T-Shirt!
— Rob Reynolds (@ferventcoder) October 2, 2016

MJLM is on Hacktoberfest ! Win MJML T-shirts + stickers if your PR got accepted
— mjml. (@mjmlio) October 12, 2016


This year, we wanted to highlight the collaborative aspect of open source and created a Hacktoberfest-themed Meetup Kit with tips and tools for anyone who wanted to organize a Hacktoberfest event.

As a result, Hacktoberfest meetups popped up all over the world. More than 30 communities held 40 events in 29 cities across 12 countries including Cameroon,Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Spain, Ukraine, UK, and the US (click here to see a full list of Hacktoberfest events).

Thank you to event organizers who brought your communities together through pair programming, mentorship, demos, workshops, and hack fests.

If you didn’t have a chance to attend a Hacktoberfest-themed event near you, we encourage you to host one anytime or suggest the idea to your favorite meetup.

Hacktoberfest Paris Meetup by Sigfox

Fullstack Open Source | Hacktober Edition, Los Angeles, California, USA

Hacktober Night by BlackCodeCollective, Arlington, Virginia, USA

Hacktober Fest Meetup at NITK Surathkal, Mangalore, India

Clockwise, from top left:
Hacktoberfest Paris Meetup by Sigfox, Paris, France, Fullstack Open Source | Hacktober Edition, Los Angeles, California, USA, Hacktober Fest Meetup at NITK Surathkal, Mangalore, India, and Hacktober Night by BlackCodeCollective, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Beyond 2016

Thank you to our friends at GitHub for helping us make Hacktoberfest 2016 possible. And special thanks go out to our friends at Mozilla, Intel, and CoreOS for supporting the initiative.

Tell us: What did you enjoy about Hacktoberfest this year? What can we do to make it even better next year? Let us know in the comments.

Until we meet again—happy hacking!


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