DEV Community

Cover image for All you need to know about Hacktoberfest
Shubham Rattra
Shubham Rattra

Posted on • Updated on


All you need to know about Hacktoberfest

October's here and for all the programmers and open source contributors, this is a great time to contribute to open source or try something new because Hacktoberfest is here.

For some who are new to programming or open-source might be thinking what is a Hacktoberfest or what is open-source.

Open-source refers to source code that is publicly accessible and allows anyone to inspect, modify, or learn from it. Open source projects encourage collaboration and the freedom to use the software for any purpose you wish.

Hacktoberfest is a celebration open to everyone in our global community. It is a month-long celebration of open source software run by DigitalOcean.

Seven years ago, Hacktoberfest had kick-started the celebration along with 676 excited participants contributing to open source projects and earning a limited-edition T-shirt. Now, hundreds of thousands of developers participate in Hacktoberfest from 150 countries.

If you want to contribute to open-source projects, but don't know where to start, Then Hacktoberfest is the perfect opportunity for you.

Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source software sponsored by Digital Ocean, Intel, and DEV.

The goal of the event is to encourage participation in the open-source community all across the globe. And the challenge is quite simple. Open four high-quality pull requests in October on any open source project to get some swags.

Some of you might be thinking that WHAT is a swag???????

If you complete 4prs valid, you get a T-shirt, some stickers, a cup coaster(which I got last year, don't know if they'll be giving this year also).

Alt Text

They also introduced the option to plant a tree instead of receiving a T-shirt as a reward to reduce the environmental impact.

So when completing four pull requests, you will have the option to choose either a Hacktoberfest shirt or the option to donate a tree. You don't have the option to choose both swag options.
If you want to plant a tree on your own, you can do so by going here:

But Hacktoberfest can get intimidating pretty fast as there's a lot to study, read, and learn. That's why Digital Ocean has deemed the month of September as #Preptember.

To give the community more time to get ready for Hacktoberfest, officially announced September as the month for preparation. It has been a month full of learning, dedicated just to prepare for Hacktoberfest, how to make quality pull requests, and giving maintainers more time to groom their repositories.

Before going further on how to start your Hacktoberfest journey here are some key terms that you need to know-

Version Control

When developers work on a project together, oftentimes they'll need to work on the same code base. While they're working, each developer needs to know about what changes the other developer made, so they do not duplicate the work or write code over what has been done. 
A version control system serves as a saving program for code, where it assigns a version to a project and tracks changes made over time to each file in the project. In this way, developers can work together on a project by checking the latest version to check the changes made before working on their portion of the project.

Git and GitHub

Git, a version control system used to manage a developer's projects of all sizes, was created to help developers contribute code and share code revisions in a way that was fast, efficient, and inexpensive. Git enables developers to edit, share, and publish code, facilitating collaboration and teamwork.
GitHub is a cloud-based git repository hosting service that allows developers to take code that they've written on their local machines and share it with the world. It provides a way to share the version-tracked projects on the local computer publicly through repositories or, central file storage locations. Depending on the project's availability (it can be either a public or private repository), other developers can download the project to edit the code, provide insight, and more.

Alt Text

Also, before you start contributing you should have some basic knowledge of working on GitHub and most importantly that what is forking a project, cloning a project, making a pull request.

How to get started with your Hacktober journey?

Step 1: Sign Up

First, register at
If you don't, DigitalOcean and GitHub won't know about you when they check for Pr's. So before starting your contribution do remember to register yourself.

You can sign up anytime between October 1and October 31.

Step 2: Find a project that interests you and jump in!

Search the Hacktoberfest label on GitHub. There are thousands of issues to choose from.

If this is your first time then you might want to either pick a language with which you are comfortable with (so you're not learning a new language and figuring out what help is needed) or pick some documentation.

Check for labels like beginners only, first-timers-only,beginners-friendly, good first-time issue, Great for new contributors, Good First Issues as these are for beginners or for those contributing in open source for the first time.

Remember quality contributions are encouraged.

If you are maintaining a repo then-
Create issues or label existing ones with Hacktoberfest on your GitHub projects to help new contributors know what to work on.

Step 3: Make your first PR

Then, submit at least four pull requests to any public GitHub repository and wait for it to be verified.
Note- It may take about 14 days to be verified. Earlier it used to be 7 days but recently, they increased the numbers of days to 14 maybe so that the owner of the repo would have more time to verify the pull request, and there would be fewer spams.

Step 4: Celebrate!!!🥳🥳🥳

Congrats for completing your first Hacktoberfest and you'll be getting your swags in a month or two(depending on where you live).

Alt Text

If you've…..

never contributed to open-source software on GitHub,

been excited to learn and play with a new programming language,

been too overwhelmed to attend a developer hack night,

waited all year long to celebrate open-source software and earn a limited edition T-shirt,

Hacktoberfest is here to make all the above possible.

For more details, check here-

official site-
Here is a list of communities and their swag list

Top comments (5)

thewebdroid profile image
@theWebDroid • Edited

Hey guys
I am new to this .
I wanted to know what languages to learn for the hactober event.
Pls help.
Appreciate you helping

And also would Html JavaScript Css and
Python languages make me eligible for this fest

waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

That greatly depends on whtat you are trying to do. Most languages can arguably do most tasks, but may not perform as well as another, or may not have as strong of a community in the field you are looking for. Learnng a language simply for hacktoberfest is probably not the right choice for you.

Think about what things you are interested in and try to find a language with good library support for that. Or maybe you have friends that you can lean on for help, choosing a language they know might be helpful.

If in the end you have no idea what to start with, python is a great place to start. If you find that another community has more support for what you want to do you can take the skills you learned in python with you.

Lastly whatever you do for hacktoberfest it will likely require markdown. You can easily learn markdown in an afternoon, even if you have never written code before. Markdown is just a markup language that most documentation is written in, and github uses it for issue communication.

thewebdroid profile image

Thanks so will my web development skills come handy for the fest😅

dabjazz profile image

Looking forward to contributing this hacktober fest. It will be my first Hacktober fest. A path for me to start my open source contribution journey!

shubhamrattra profile image
Shubham Rattra

All the best bro 🙂👍

Timeless DEV post...

Git Concepts I Wish I Knew Years Ago

The most used technology by developers is not Javascript.

It's not Python or HTML.

It hardly even gets mentioned in interviews or listed as a pre-requisite for jobs.

I'm talking about Git and version control of course.

One does not simply learn git