Meet Hacktoberfest—a month-long celebration of open source software. The premise is simple: sign up on the Hacktoberfest website, create four pull requests in October, and win a free, limited edition t-shirt.
Our contribution to this collaborative initiative is to host a meetup on Saturday, October 21 in our very own FooBar in Berlin. In cooperation with Twilio, we invite you to a day of open source hacking, the workshop “Open source - How can I get involved?” and delicious food.
But we're not the only ones getting involved. To gain insight into just how big this movement has become, we reached out to Daniel Zaltsman. Daniel handles Community Management at DigitalOcean, the company that founded Hacktoberfest. He was kind enough to give us a few minutes of his time to answer some questions about this year’s event.
Contentful: Why was Hacktoberfest initially launched?
Daniel: We created Hacktoberfest to motivate people to get involved in open source by offering a reward in exchange for contributions. Bringing GitHub on board as a partner for the second year helped us reach a wider audience—and the participation continues to double every year.
C: How many people are participating this year?
D: We won't know the absolute total until the month is over. Nonetheless, before the end of the day [on Monday, October 16] the number of participants that have signed up will be at 50,000! Approximately 40% of them have contributed at least one pull request so far.
C: Do you have to be an expert programmer to participate?
D: Absolutely not! One of the exciting things about Hacktoberfest is that it brings together a global audience ranging in experience from first-time contributors to seasoned veterans. We have created a short and simple resource section on the main site which will help anyone get started. Another resource for beginners would be the three part tutorial series to get started with Open Source.
C: How has the event changed over the years? Anything particularly exciting about 2017?
D: Every year we try something new with Hacktoberfest. Last year, we saw the Hacktoberfest Meetup Kit gain traction with over 30 events being organized around the world. This year we created a custom page for the kit and the count for Meetups around the world has increased by 300%.
We're also working with our production team to start getting shirts to participants earlier than in any past years. We see this as an important area to focus on given that speed of delivery will increase participant satisfaction overall.
C: What projects would you like to highlight this year?
D: Here are a few projects to check out if you aren’t sure where to get started. You’re not limited to these projects—you can also find issues labeled “Hacktoberfest” on GitHub and start hacking!
- Interested in home automation? Python project Home Assistant was one of last year’s most contributed to Hacktoberfest projects, and they’re back for more!
- If you’ve ever thought about contributing to the Rust programing language, you’ll never find a better time to get involved.
- Exercism offers practice problems in over 30 different programing languages. Check out all the ways you can contribute.
- The Jenkins project is jumping into Hacktoberfest. Brush off your Java and contribute to one of the most used CI/CD servers around.
- Dive into data science by contributing to the rOpenSci project’s efforts to develop R packages that provide access to open data.
- Hugo is one of the most popular open-source static site generators and a great project to contribute to if you’re looking to exercise your Go skills.
- Going cloud native with Kubernetes? Kubicorn is seeking to make it easy to deploy and manage clusters.
C: Do you have any tips for how new participants can make the most out of the next two weeks?
D: With two weeks left in the month, it's important that you set aside time and just get started. To get going, all you'll need to do is sign up on the site and make sure you are set up with a GitHub account and git. From there, jump right into the projects section on the main site or find issues labeled "Hacktoberfest" on GitHub.
Another great way to dive in is by finding projects on Twitter, where people have used hashtag #Hacktoberfest.
And last but certainly not least, go through the list of events and attend a Meetup by you—this is a great way to participate and be a part of a community.
Good luck and happy hacking!