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How to get started and find opt-in projects for Hacktoberfest πŸŽƒ don't be scared!

Hacktoberfest has started and that means it's time to contribute to open source! πŸ™Œ Don't worry, it doesn't have to be scary πŸŽƒ Let's walk through how to get started. Once you're setup and ready to go, you'll be able to check out my next article for some project ideas.

Sign up to Hacktoberfest

Firstly, you'll need to sign up to Hacktoberfest. You can't really participate without signing up to go πŸ˜‰

    1. Head to the Hacktoberfest website
    2. Click "Start Hacking":

Sign up

    3. Go through the three step "Welcome" Process:


    4. When you've authenticated, you should be able to see your profile screen. If not, head back to the main homepage and click "Start Hacking" again. This will take you to your profile:


Now you're all setup and ready to hack.

Contribute to open source with pull requests

To complete the Hacktoberfest challenge, you'll need to complete four pull requests (PRs).

As you make pull requests, they'll show up under your profile as either complete, waiting to be merged, or project not participating.

To ensure your pull requests counts for Hacktoberfest, there are a few criteria:

  • the PR must be made on a public (open source) repo
  • the PR must be accepted/merged by a Maintainer
  • the PR must be completed on a project that is participating in Hacktoberfest

This year, Hacktoberfest is opt-in, meaning Maintainers need to opt in their repo as a participating projects. This is good news for contributors - especially first timers - as you can be assured Maintainers are expecting more PRs this month.

Maintainers are amazing people. They are helpful, and willing to teach contributors the culture of their community. Just remember to read the contribution guidelines before you start contributing to a project. Each one has slightly different 'rules'. Help make the lives of Maintainers easier by reading the guidelines before you submit your PR.

If you've never submitted a pull request before, check out GitHub's learning lab on on PRs. You can also watch a walkthrough of this with me on my Twitch stream. Just jump to approx. 2.05.00 in the VOD.

Finding projects for Hacktoberfest

Now that you've worked out how to make PRs (or maybe you already knew how to do this) you'll want to look for a project that's participating in Hacktoberfest. As mentioned above, only open source repos that are opted into Hacktoberfest will be counted towards your contributions.

To find projects that have opted-in, head to GitHub's Hacktoberest topics page. Here, you'll find all the projects that have opted in. At the time of writing, there are over 79,000 open source projects participating in Hacktoberfest 2021:

Once you're on this page, you'll be able to use the drop downs to further filter results:

Only want to see repos focused on "Python"? Select the Python language. You can filter by most stars, most forks, and recently updated.

You can also head to the Hacktoberfest website and click the "Giving" tab. This will show all the projects being showcased as part of Hacktoberfest's new initiative; to encourage financial donations to open source projects.

This is a good way to see some of the highlighted projects and browse through ones you might like to contribute to.

Hacktoberfest 2021

So get involved in Hacktoberfest, browse for a cool project, and start contributing. Check out our Hacktoberfest series for a few cool projects to contribute to. We'll be sharing new updates and projects each week so make sure to check back regularly πŸ˜„

Good luck for an amazing Hacktoberfest ❀️

Top comments (1)

mishmanners profile image
Michelle Duke

You can also check out the official GitHub guide to Hacktoberfest on our blog:
This one has lots of tips for Maintainers too!