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An Evergreen Guide to Hacktoberfest

Hacktoberfest is a month-long worldwide open-source festival, run by DigitalOcean and open to everyone in our global community. Anybody can participate in Hacktoberfest, not necessarily to have any experience or knowledge in coding. Let's dive more into it.

What is Hacktoberfest?

  • An open source community event in October.
  • People gather to learn and share new skills by contributing to and supporting open source projects.
  • Participants get to win cool swags like t-shirts and stickers.
  • An open source project is where anybody can contribute to it through any means regardless of their connection to the project owners or the project itself.

The main aim of Hacktoberfest is to encourage people to contribute to open source projects.


Basic knowledge of Git and GitHub since the contributions for Hacktoberfest takes place through it.

Learn Git and GitHub in no time with these resources:

How to get started?

Step 1: Register for Hacktoberfest

Go to the official Hacktoberfest website and register yourself with Github or Gitlab.

Step 2: Find repositories for contributions

  • Repositories with Hacktoberfest label will only be taken into consideration/or counted in as contributions.

Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 10.31.52 am.png

  • You can find good projects worth contributing on the GitHub page by typing label:hacktoberfest is:issue is:open

Some good places to find projects:

Step 3: Make 4 Hacktoberfest Pull Requests

  • Make at least 4 PRs by October 31 in any of the Github-hosted repos.
  • Find the list of hacktoberfest opt-in projects here
  • Your PR will be counted if they are in the repo with hacktoberfest label and once merged, approved by a maintainer or labeled with hacktoberfest-accepted

Step 4: Check and see whether you’ve qualified

Once you’ve signed up for Hacktoberfest, you can check your progress on the Hacktoberfest website.

Step 5: Earn cool prizes

By participating in Hacktoberfest, you'll gain more open source experience and get the chance to earn some Hacktoberfest swags like t-shirts and yes, they'll be internationally delivered for free.

In Hacktoberfest 2021, DigitalOcean is offering an alternative to their traditional t-shirt prize: a plant-a-tree alternative! While those Hacktoberfest t-shirts are amazing, it always feels good to save the planet.


1) What if my pull requests aren't accepted?

Even if your pull requests aren’t accepted, as long as you open at least 4 pull requests, you’ll earn the shirt.
The only exception would be if the project maintainer chooses to mark your pull request as “invalid”. They may do this if they perceive your pull request to be low effort, or if it contains plagiarism.

2) What kinds of pull requests count toward earning the Hacktoberfest shirt?

Any pull request made to a public repo on GitHub will count. The pull request must contain commits you personally made yourself — not automated commits from bots.

4) What if I don’t make at least 4 pull requests by midnight October 31?

As long as you're registered for Hacktoberfest, you’ll still get free stickers in the mail. It’s still worth registering, even if you’re too busy to participate.

8 open source projects to contribute to Hacktoberfest:

API Platform



Free programming books

App Ideas


Awesome for non-programmers

Awesome First PR Opportunities

Further Reference:

@kentcdodds - First Timers Only

Ayushi Rawat's Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

Catalin Pit's Find Open Source Projects To Contribute As A Beginner

@atapas 8 resources to get you started with open source

A Hacktoberfest Project For All Web Developers: Style Stage

Hacktoberfest 2021 is Here

Hacktoberfest: 69 Beginner-Friendly Projects You Can Contribute To

8 Non-technical ways to contribute to open-source

GitHub’s guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

That's it for today, folks!

Hopefully, I was able to provide useful information about Hacktoberfest. Happy hacking 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Thank you all for reading 🥳 Stay safe and happy!

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