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Laura Lindeman for Salesforce Engineering

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Salesforce Employees Make 178 Open Source Contributions During Hacktoberfest!

by Alyssa Arvin, Sr. Open Source Program Manager

Salesforce engineers are builders.

Together, we’ve created a platform that helps companies around the world connect with their customers and establish lasting, trusted relationships. Whether we’re working with a small business, a nonprofit, or a Fortune 500 company, it’s our job to ensure all systems are always a go. And with thousands of customers and tens of millions of daily users on our platform, our aim is to keep pushing boundaries on just how massively we can scale.

We’re also building a team of problem solvers who believe technology creates meaningful progress when the people behind it progress together. Driven by our commitment to trust, equality, and innovation, we’re contributing to a more collaborative, inclusive, and connected world. We contribute to thousands of open source projects every year, from key technologies powering our innovation to community projects that make our world a better place.

We couldn’t let October pass without participating in Hacktoberfest. This year looked a little different and it actually came with better results!

This year we had 52 people participate in Hacktoberfest with a 178 total open source contributions! Almost half of the participants made 4 or more contributions. Our employees also gave 71 hours to volunteering through open source.

How did we run Hacktoberfest at Salesforce?

The biggest theme of our Hacktoberfest was.... THEMES! We came up with themes for each week to help inspire people to contribute. The themes were:

  • Week 1: Project you know & love
  • Week 2: Projects that were released by Salesforce employees
  • Week 3: Projects we depend on at Salesforce
  • Week 4: Volunteering through open source

Our employees didn’t have to stick to the themes. If they wanted to make contributions throughout the entire month to one project they loved, then they could do that! However, the themes were really helpful in getting new open source contributors to see what projects were out there.

“It's a great introduction to the open source world and has a lot of community support that beginner contributors are looking for.” - Swati Kothari

This year we skipped things like tech talks, office hours, and synchronous events and instead encouraged people to contribute when they wanted to. The great thing about this is that it allowed anyone to participate no matter what time zone they were working in. We had a huge turnout from our employees in India and Tel Aviv.

“This was really fantastic, exciting and energetic event. I was quite amazed to see many Salesforce employees all around the globe participating in various open source projects while working from home. And I am sure anyone who loves coding to the core would feel the same.” -Viraj Jasani

We also followed DigitalOcean’s lead to make Hacktoberfest easier on open source projects. We encouraged our employees to use Hacktoberfest’s list of projects and to only make meaningful contributions. For projects that were released by Salesforce employees, we made sure the maintainers wanted their project listed as an opportunity. The projects listed under the volunteering theme were previous projects that we had used, so we knew the maintainers were comfortable accepting contributions.


It is always fun to try new ways to get people contributing to open source. What are some ways that you have encouraged employees? Let us know on Twitter @SalesforceEng.

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