Hacktoberfest and Open Source

Hacktoberfest and Open Source Banner

It's almost that time of year when developers start to think about signing up for Hacktoberfest - but if you're a new developer, you may be wondering what is Hacktoberfest, and why would I want to contribute to open source? Well read on to find out why open source is so important to the web.

What is Open Source

Unlike proprietary software which is kept private and has strict license requirements, open source is developed as a public, open collaboration and made freely available to the public. This allows anyone to inspect, modify, learn from and enhance the source code of open source projects.

So What is Hacktoberfest?

Hacktoberfest is an annual worldwide event held during the month of October that encourages developers to contribute to open source projects. And this years event is special, as Hacktoberfest is celebrating its 10th Anniversary!

Open source projects maintained by community-minded coders, are a big part of what makes the modern internet function. Supporting this essential work and the developers behind it, is what Hacktoberfest is all about.

Sounds cool - so how do I take part?

Developers can sign up to participate in Hacktoberfest anytime between the 26th of September and the 31st of October.

Then, you will need to produce four pull requests in projects participating in Hacktoberfest, and have those PR's accepted by the maintainer during the event (1st to 31st of October).

Everyone is welcome, from new developers to those who have participated every year since it began, and there are even tasks for non-coders too!

It's important to remember that quality > quantity - make sure that you are making meaningful contributions, as they will make a lasting effect on the projects you work on.

Where can I find Open Source projects?

I've shared some links below for sites that can help you find open source projects to contribute to - just be aware that some projects may not participate in Hacktoberfest, so make sure to look for the Hacktoberfest topic/label/tag if you're looking for a project to count towards your event PR's.

  • The Codu platform! - The Codú platform is completely open source and welcomes new contributors 😎 Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the Codú platform? Codú has a project for beginners to get started with open source contribution! (Codú really is an inclusive coding community 😉)
  • Code Triage - Filter projects by language.
  • Contrib - Contrib provides a list of projects grouped by language.
  • Ovio - A list of projects and issues waiting for help. Ovio allows you to filter skills, topics, repo stars and activity. You can also use the search to find projects or issues.
  • Up For Grabs - A curated list aimed at new contributors. Filter projects by name, label, tags and last updated.
  • First Contributions - Helps you to make your first contribution to open source in five minutes! Allows you to search for a particular topic, like machine learning - or filter by language.
  • Common Voice - An open source project that anyone can get involved in! No coding required. Contribute by recording a voice clip, listening to a clip or writing a sentence to help teach machines how real people speak.
  • Good First Issue - Curates a list of issues that are perfect to get started with open source.
  • Open Source Projects for non-coders - A fantastic GitHub repo listing lots of opportunities for non-coders to contribute.
  • Deepsource - Discover and fix bug risks, anti-patterns, performance issues and security flaws.
  • Free Code Camp - An amazing resource for how to contribute to open source, and the opportunity to contribute to the Free Code Camp site. 24 Pull Requests - This one is worth bookmarking for your open source contributions during December 🎅🏻

💡 You can also use the search functionality on GitHub to look for projects/issues/labels tagged with Hacktoberfest

But open source isn't just for Hacktoberfest - contributing to open source projects can really help your growth as a developer and provide you with some real world experience of working on genuine issues in live codebases. It can also be a fantastic way to meet new people and get involved in the community. You're also helping to build and maintain the internet of the future!

Share a comment below to let me know if you've taken part in Hacktoberfest before, or if this will be your first time.

And if you have an awesome resource or know of a great open source project/event, feel free to drop those in the comments too 😊

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Written by Kera Cudmore

Junior Software Developer at the Met Office | Code Institute Alumna.


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