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Mark Sta Ana
Mark Sta Ana

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Thanks HacktoberFest!

Just a small diversion before the article begins in earnest...

I'm available for hire! If you want to get in touch contact details are available in this twitter thread.

Alternatively you can either drop me message here or check out my profile for LinkedIn details.


Photo by Kerstin Wrba on Unsplash

I've participated in a couple of HacktoberFests (for the uninitiated this is a month-long challenge to help make open source projects better. Check out the tag below for more info).

Last year was a special HacktoberFest because I earned my t-shirt by doing my day job! That's right, I was working on Open Source projects for public sector clients and getting credit for HacktoberFest. 💪

This year I intended to carry on as usual, but for some reason (unknown to me) a couple of PRs from an old side project caught my eye. The project was a crate (Rust parlance for a package) called wifiscanner

GitHub logo booyaa / wifiscanner

A crate to list WiFi hotspots in your area

A quick look and I could see there was no reason to not merge them, they were passing their tests in Travis (CI/CD).

This got me thinking about improvements I could make to the project more friendly to contributors:

  • include a contribution guide.
  • introduce GitHub actions since it's my current hammer (see exhibits a, b, c and d) to eventually replace Travis.
  • add a checks target to the Makefile to format, lint and run tests before contributors submit a PR

Whilst all of these tasks could be done by me I did wonder, would other people like to do these tasks? So on a whim, I created issues and labelled them as HacktoberFest. Within a couple of hours, people had claimed the issues and a few days later fixes were issued.

I've been thinking about what were the contributing factors to my success. I think the quality of the issues played a significant part:

  • there was a brief explanation of the task
  • an acceptance criteria (with one or more check listed items)
  • the task could be worked on in isolation
  • tasks were relatively short (could be completed in a few minutes)

With all this collaboration, I felt energized to work on my side project again. Heck, I even tweeted about it.

Whilst this is great (I have missed working on side projects) there a little voice in my head that's telling me the reason for my new found love for this project is that I'm procrastinating because I'm currently job hunting! 😂

So if you're a remote-friendly company that's hiring for an SRE / DevOps role drop me a message (LinkedIn details are available in my profile)! I'd love to work magic on your systems!

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