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Jeremy Grifski
Jeremy Grifski

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Help! Hacktoberfest Is Overwhelming

If you've followed me, you might know that I got into because I was looking for some help with an open source project. Thanks to this wonderful community, I was able to grow my Sample Programs project quite a bit.

While that growth has been really nice, it has sort of hit a critical mass during Hacktoberfest, and I just don't have the time to deal with it. In other words, I was wondering if I get some help from the community again.

In the remainder of this article, I'll share exactly what I need.

Project Overview

If you're unfamiliar, the Sample Programs project is a code snippet collection in as many languages as possible. As a result, it's pretty similar to other projects of its kind like Rosetta Code.

Of course, my goal with this collection wasn't to clone an existing project. Instead, I wanted to take it a step further and provide documentation for every snippet. Unfortunately, we have way more snippets than we have articles at this point (~300 to 100). That said, I'm still hopeful that someone will come along and help with documentation.

At any rate, I'm not here to beg for help with documentation. Instead, I have a much more fundamental need.

The Problem

Every year, Hacktoberfest comes around and provides me with hundreds of open source contributors. As long as I tag issues with #hacktoberfest, I'm basically guaranteed to get a hand with those issues. Since my issues are generally pretty straightforward, people don't really hesitate to complete them.

This year, I was able to get one of those contributors to help me generate issues for missing code snippets. At first, this was really nice because I was able to get a nice flow of pull requests to the project without having to really do anything. Of course, now I'm stuck reviewing 40+ pull requests a day with no end in sight.

Sample Programs Pull Requests

In other words, I really need some help reviewing pull requests. Of course, you can't really do that without a little training, so I plan to do that in the next sections.

How to Help

In general, there are two main types of pull requests that I get: code snippets and articles.

Code Snippets

If a contributor provides a code snippet, there should be two changed files: the new file they are providing and an updated README which references the new file. Here's an example pull request of pretty much exactly what I'd be looking for.

In this example, the contributor provided a solution to Even/Odd in C++. Since they followed the directions, the solution passed all of our automated testing. In addition, they properly updated the README. At that point, I'd say it's good to go.

Unfortunately, not every language is automatically tested. As a result, you may need to test the solution yourself. In many cases, the solution will not adhere to the documentation, so you'll need to point that out to the contributor.

In addition, sometimes contributors will provide a solution that we don't currently support. As a result, we ask that the contributor provides their own documentation, so we can replicate the solution in other languages. For instance, we currently have a contributor writing their own documentation for Sleep Sort.

For a complete list a supported projects, check out our projects page.


Since we also like to document our code snippets, we'll occasionally get contributors that share that interest. In this case, all we ask is that they follow our templates. Beyond that, the documentation is totally up to them.

As long as the contributor describes the existing solution in the collection, I tend not to nitpick too much. That said, feel free to make editorial comments.

See the homepage for a few example articles.

Any Takers?

Does this sound interesting? If so, please don't hesitate to pop on over and help out. In fact, if you comment below with your GitHub profile, I'll add you to The Renegade Coder organization, so you can start reviewing pull requests. Likewise, don't be afraid to ask questions!

Otherwise, thanks for taking some time to check out my project. I appreciate it!

Top comments (1)

ucalyptus profile image
Sayantan Das

This shall help beginners ->