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Ayu Adiati
Ayu Adiati

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What I Learned From Hacktoberfest 2021

Hello Fellow Codenewbies πŸ‘‹,

Last year, I participated in Hacktoberfest. And I didn't set any goals because open-source was still very intimidating for me.
And at the end, I submitted 1 pull request.

This year, I participated in Virtual Coffee's October monthly challenge. I also joined Virtual Coffee Hacktoberfest Initiative where I got paired with a mentor.
Being paired with a mentor was definitely one of the best experiences I could ever ask for.
Open-source is no longer too intimidating because I have someone to ask and guide me through.

Hacktoberfest started at the same time as my learning journey at The Collab Lab.
So I didn't set my bar high because I want to focus more on my learning.
My goal was I would be super happy if I could submit at least 1 pull request.
But in the end, I submitted not only 1, but 8 pull requests! πŸŽ‰


In this article, I want to share what I learned from participating in Hacktoberfest 2021.

Git & GitHub

For me, as a newbie to open source, this is the most terrifying part of the whole contribution process.
I was afraid if I break the whole production from not knowing much about how to work with git.

It always took me at least 5 minutes to click that green Pull request button on GitHub from feeling anxious.

Through Hacktoberfest, I learned more about the flow of contributing to open source. And I learned a lot about git and GitHub by doing.
Although I still feel anxious sometimes, I am much more comfortable with git now.

Create Issue

Some open sources have their own template or even form to submit an issue.
But when they don't have one, we need to create an issue with a clear description of the problem.

This year, I learned how to create an issue for an open-source when there is no template for the first time.


Documentation (docs) plays a very important role in an open-source.
Anyone who has an interest in that open-source need to be able to understand the docs.
That is one of the reasons why I was also looking for issues around docs. I wanted to see docs from a closer look.

And I finally had the chance to contribute to the Drone's docs.

That contribution introduced me to Hugo for the first time!
And after setting it up a year ago, I finally could get my hands dirty on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2)!


I always want to dive more into accessibility.
And I can't be very happy to be able to contribute to some open sources on accessibility matters.
I learned how to check accessibility on a website and how to improve an automatic audio transcript. I also learned some accessibility tools below.


WAVE is a browser extension to check accessibility issues.
I learned about it for the first time when I contributed. I use it to assist me in fixing accessibility issues.

Example of using WAVE


Lighthouse is an open-source Chrome extension by Google. It helps developers improve the quality of web pages.
Not only to check the quality of accessibility, but it can also check SEO and other performances.

Example of using Lighthouse


NVDA is a free screen reader for Windows.
It's not the first time I use this, but I want to share about it.
I use this to listen to how the screen reader reads a web page. It helps me to understand how people with vision impairment would hear a website.


Because I love them (πŸ˜€), I will summarize my month of Hacktoberfest in bullet points!

What I learned

  • How to work with git & GitHub
  • How to create an issue
  • Documentation
  • Accessibility
  • Some new frameworks
  • Some new tools

Frameworks that I worked with

  • Hugo
  • Eleventy
  • SCSS

Tools that I used

  • WSL2
  • WAVE
  • Lighthouse
  • NVDA

Open sources that I contributed to

Final Words

I gained so much knowledge and experience around open-source through Hacktoberfest 2021.
And they are all possible because I had great support from awesome people.

πŸ“£ So I would like to give shoutouts to:

  • Lewis Sparlin

    Thank you for always checking on me and for being an awesome mentor during the Hacktoberfest! πŸ’™

  • Dan Ott

    Thank you for the prompt replies on some issues and for guiding me. You're one awesome mentor & maintainer! πŸ₯°

  • Marie Antons

    Thank you for throwing me PRs to contribute to. Also for walking me through creating issues and pull requests from scratch! You are the "Git Goddess"! 🀩

  • Bekah HW

    Thank you for being my ears and for having my back always! Thank you for being a great friend! 😍

    PS: I still owe you a PR on your repo! πŸ™ˆ

  • Dominic Duffin

    Thank you for the time looking through Hugo together and ended up walking me through WSL2! Yay, I have a Windows buddy! πŸ™Œ

  • All TCL-35 mentors and teammates on The Collab Lab

    We made mistakes around git, but we learned to fix them together. Now I'm staying away as far as I could from any command with --force πŸ˜†.

    Thank you for those precious experiences!

  • All maintainers of the open sources that I contributed to

    Thank you for your kindness in coming back to me whenever I have questions! And for being awesome maintainers! ❀

Thank you, all, for making my journey in open-source much less painful and enjoyable! πŸ’–

Hacktoberfest is over, but I will continue my journey in open-source πŸ’ͺ.

How about you? Do share with us your Hacktoberfest journey! We would love to hear! πŸ˜ƒ

Thank you for reading!
Last but not least, you can find me on Twitter. Let's connect! 😊

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