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Mohammad-Ali A'RÂBI
Mohammad-Ali A'RÂBI

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5 Years of Hacktoberfest

I have attended Hacktoberfest in the last 5 years. This year, for the first time, I am attending as a contributor, maintainer, and organizer.

  • 2017. Opened my first pull request on GitHub.
  • 2018. Created my first public library.
  • 2019. Did my first real open-source contribution.
  • 2020. Received contributions to my repos for the first time.
  • 2021. Organized the first Hacktoberfest event.

It always surprises me to see how much did I learn from Hacktoberfest when I look back.


I started coding in 2004, when I was in middle school. I was coding in C using Turbo C++ 3. Git was created next year in 2005 and GitHub was founded 3 years later in 2008. In 2009, when I was going to university, GitHub was already popular. I joined GitHub in 2012, but didn't do anything with it until much later.

The first version control software I used was Subversion, in my first real coding job between 2013 and 2015. In January 2015 I used git for the first time, and pushed the libraries I had made earlier into GitHub. In my next job, we were using git together with GitLab. So, I only opened merge requests there.

Hacktoberfest 2017

I opened my first pull request in October 2017, during the first Hacktoberfest I attended. I had contributed to a few Hacktoberfest drill repos to learn about GitHub mechanics.

At the time, GitHub still felt so intimidating and complicated, and having my first PR merged was the first step towards conquering the beast.

I didn't get my T-shirt though, as the German customs office didn't release it.

Hacktoberfest 2018

In September 2018 I moved to the Netherlands and I was learning Dutch in October. So, I created a small project that would conjugate Dutch verbs.

The main purpose of the project was to practice using git, as the company there was using GitHub for managing code.

Hacktoberfest 2019

By this time I was back in Germany and in an SVN-based company. As I was advocating usage of git, I decided to contribute to real repos on GitHub. So, I contributed to a repo for commit message linting and translated documentations of the React library into Persian.

The former gave me inspirations to write the Ten Commandments of Git Commit Messages:

Ten Commandments of Git Commit Messages

Later in October we migrated from SVN to git and started using GitLab.

Hacktoberfest 2020

By October 2020, I had a few NPM libraries hosted on GitHub, one of which ended up in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault, giving me this beautiful badge:

Arctic Code Vault badge

If I remember correctly, this was the first year that repos needed to opt-in for Hacktoberfest. So did I on one of my repos and received the first contribution ever. (It was a library with a few additional RxJS operators, later rebranded into RxJSx.)

Hacktoberfest 2021

This year the contributions I received outnumbered the contributions I did. And I organized my first ever Hacktoberfest event as a Docker Community Leader:

Hackdockerfest event


I have learned much from Hacktoberfest and experienced many things for the first time.

If you are new to git or open-source contribution, please just notify me, I'll have many beginner-friendly tasks for you. Or you can looks into my piece on git tips and tricks:

16 git tricks on 16th git birthday

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