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Ayushi Rawat
Ayushi Rawat

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Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

Hi there,

Buckle up folks, Hacktoberfest is round the corner and registrations are now open. Hacktoberfest will be hosted by Digital Ocean for the 8th year in a row in partnership with GitHub and other companies, yes you read it right. In this article, I will share, how to participate in Hacktoberfest 2021 and other important details that you must know before you start contributing.

You can refer to my YouTube video Tutorial to see a working tutorial for better understanding and a step-by-step guide of the same.

What will be covered in this Blog

1. What is Hacktoberfest?
2. How does it work? 
3. How can you Join?
4. When can you join
5. How to earn a Swag kit?
6. Rules
7. What not to do!
8. FAQs
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Let's get started!

What is Hacktoberfest ?

Hacktoberfest is a month-long challenge. It happens every year in the month of October.

Hacktoberfest is open to everyone and it marks the celebration of Open Source. It's the biggest Open Source event that encourages newbies to participate in Open Source and create their 1st meaningful PR.

If you wish to know about it in detail, you can refer to this video, where I have covered everything.

How does it work?

  • Maintainers determine if their open-source projects participate.
  • Quality pull requests submitted on GitHub and GitLab are rewarded.
  • Engaged maintenance of Hacktoberfest tagged repositories are rewarded.

How can you Join?

Step - 1:

Create a GitHub account, if you don't already have one. Need help? Here are some resources to help you set up your GitHub account:

Step - 2:

Register for Hacktoberfest: Navigate to the Hacktoberfest registration page and follow the instructions. But, read the rules carefully before you do and then sign In using your GitHub credentials.


Step - 3:

Find good projects worth contributing on the GitHub page. You can type label:hactoberfest is:issue is:open

  • You can add a language label of your choice to filter open issues. If you are a beginner and can’t find good issues then there’s tag label:good first issue which filters out issues for beginners who want to contribute.

Here's something beginner-friendly for you:

Step - 4:

Submit PRs: Try and submit at least 4 PRs and wait for it to be verified. Make sure to submit quality PRs.

When can you join

Registrations are now open but you can sign up anytime between October 1 and October 31 in any time zone. Just be sure to sign up on the official Hacktoberfest website for your pull requests to count.


How to earn a Swag kit:

For your PR to count it must be:

  • Submitted in a public repo, AND the PR is labelled as hacktoberfest-accepted by a maintainer. or
  • Submitted in a repo labelled 'hacktoberfest' , AND Merged, OR Approved


  • You can opt not to receive a t-shirt and stickers and you can choose to have a tree planted in your name and help make Hacktoberfest 2021 more carbon neutral.


  • Let's have a look at my swag kit from Hacktoberfest 2020. you get some awesome goodies which include A limited-edition T-shirt for **FREE!** and some stickers.


T-shirts are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to the first 55,000 participants who successfully completed the Hacktoberfest challenge. You will be receiving mail when you have completed the challenge. Further details will be provided with the mail itself.

In past years, shirts have arrived in December or January, depending on how far you live from San Francisco. The Digital Ocean team should eventually contact you asking for your shirt size and shipping address. (Keep in mind they are shipping thousands of shirts so this process will take a while.)

Don’t miss this opportunity. Start contributing to open source and get a limited edition T-shirt for Free!

Refer Hackoberfest wesbite for more

Got anything to add? mention in the comment box below and I will update the list.


  • Pull requests can be submitted to any opted-in repository on GitHub or GitLab.
  • The pull request must contain commits you made yourself.
  • If a maintainer reports your pull request as 'spam' or 'invalid', it will not be counted toward your participation in Hacktoberfest.
  • If a maintainer reports behaviour that’s not in line with the project’s code of conduct, you will be ineligible to participate.
  • To get a shirt, you must make four approved pull requests (PRs) on opted-in projects between October 1-31 in any time zone.
  • This year, the first 55,000 participants can earn a T-shirt.

What not to do!

In line with Hacktoberfest value “quantity is fun, quality is key”, here are examples of the PRs that we consider to be low-quality contributions (which are discouraged):

  • PRs that are automated (e.g. scripted opening PRs to remove whitespace/optimize images)
  • PRs that are disruptive (e.g. taking someone else’s branch/commits and making a PR)
  • PRs that are regarded by a project maintainer as a hindrance vs. helping
  • Something that’s clearly an attempt to simply +1 your PR count for October
  • Last but not least, one PR to fix a typo is fine. 5 PRs to remove stray whitespace… it’s not.

Pro tip:

You can join the Hacktoberfest discord server to connect with the community and network with other open-source enthusiasts, ask questions and find projects. click the link to navigate to the server.



Let's look at some FAQs:

Q.*What if my pull requests aren’t accepted*?

A: Even if your pull requests aren’t accepted, as long as you open at least 4 pull requests, you’ll earn the shirt.

Have more FAQs unanswered, check the FAQ section for the same. FAQs are divided into 6 categories:

  • General
  • Rules
  • Events
  • Maintainers
  • Swag & Shipping
  • Troubleshooting


You can also check out the list of ongoing events of Hacktoberfest 2021.


Interested to hear about my Hacktoberfest experience of 2020? You wouldn't wanna miss it, so. stay tuned for my upcoming blog.

That's all for this article and with that, it's a wrap! I hope you found the article useful. Thank you for reading, If you have reached so far, please like the article, It will encourage me to write more such articles. Do share your valuable suggestions, I appreciate your honest feedback!

I create content about Career, Blogging, Programming, and Productivity, If this is something that interests you, please share the article with your friends and connections. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to get updates every time I write something!

I would strongly recommend you to Check out the YouTube video of the same and don't forget to subscribe to my Channel. I would love to connect with you at Twitter | LinkedIn.

You should definitely check out my other Blogs:

Resources & Credits:

Happy Contributing, See you in my next Blog article, Take care!!

Top comments (1)

harryvine profile image
Huy Vuong

You made a typo in Step 3: 'label:hactoberfest' should be 'label:hacktoberfest'