The DEV Team

Maintainers: what was your early open-source expectation v.s. reality?

graciegregory profile image Gracie Gregory (she/her) ・1 min read

I'll bet you didn't know that all of those pumpkin spice flavors returning to coffee menus are actually in honor of 🎃 Preptember 🎃!

With Hacktoberfest less than a month away and open source maintainers spending September getting their repos ready for contributors, I'm curious about something...

Getting back in the mindset of being brand new to the open-source community, what expectations did you have about making contributions before your first-ever PR? What was the reality?

Hacktoberfest is obviously open to all levels of contributors, but it is a great opportunity for newbies to get involved in the ecosystem. With that in mind, I think it's important to put ourselves back in their shoes during Preptember. In doing so, hopefully your repos will be ready and welcoming to all contributors keen on making an impact.

Maintainers, I'd love your thoughts!

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graciegregory profile

Gracie Gregory (she/her)


Content Manager @ DEV. "You know what this sentence needs? An Em dash!" - Me to Me

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄


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Expectation: People are going to make fun of me for not being good at development
Reality: Many actually tried to help me out, and helped me learn and expand as a person.


Love this 😭


I thought people just use your code and give reference but turns out I got messages of people appreciating & willing to support and even they gave my references to their connections for dev roles. I wasn't expecting this 😃


I'm so glad to hear your expectations were exceeded! Any tips for new contributors who might be considering participating in Hacktoberfest this year?


My only tip for the first time contributors is that don't think that you should know everything.
If you’ve never contributed you might be a little nervous to make your first PR. You may have assumed that making PR is some expert kind of thing but as long as you know the thing you're shipping and making the PR for, you're good 🙂.
And all the best ✌🙏🤟👨‍💻👩‍💻

PS: JS Devs have a look at airbnb repo for JavaScript Style Guide 😉

  • Expectation: Many tried to help me out, or at least give feedbacks.
  • Reality:
    • Even getting bug notifications is rare. Forget about PR for bug fixes and feature requests. I assume I need to reach more audience and getting popularity.
    • I even forgot how my code works to fix the code. Too long a time ago. -- so wontfix.