loading...
Cover image for Hacktoberfest: From Decision To Completion

Hacktoberfest: From Decision To Completion

timrodz profile image Juan Alejandro Morais ・6 min read

Β‘Hola/Hello/Kia Ora everyone! πŸ‘‹

πŸ“– Table of Contents

  1. Making A Decision & Sticking To It πŸš€
  2. Tackling The Challenge πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸ’»
  3. Exploring The Web! 🌐
  4. Lessons Learned, A Retrospective ❀️

I'm always looking for ways to learn and improve who I am, personally and career-wise. This year I completed my first ever Hacktoberfest β€” It felt great! Now that I've completed it and have stayed active with contributions, I wonder:

  • What inspired me?
  • How can I stay motivated to work on more open source projects?
  • How can I encourage others to do the same?

Hacktoberfest pull request status


Making A Decision & Sticking To It πŸš€

This year I made the switch from game programming to Full-stack. Before the switch, I had only been coding in languages such as C++, C#, Lua, and using game engines such as Unreal Engine 4 and Unity3D. I've been discovering and working with technologies like JavaScript, Python, and SQL to name a few. The breadth of tools, frameworks, libraries, APIs out there are tremendous - I can get why it might be so hard to get into this!

Impostor Syndrome Kicks In

Alright, I know how to code. Or do I? Surely I can work on a small issue and solve it, right? How about data structures? I've forgotten to implement a B-Tree yet again...

Impostor Syndrome accompanies those who work or have worked in the Games Industry, and it has decided to stay. To prove myself that I am a capable programmer (and more importantly, that I'm more than willing to overcome obstacles), I started creating side-projects to work on.

But if you're like me, you tend to come up with lots of side-projects, only to never work on them again. And that's fine - Some of these projects have a specific purpose, and they may have taught you the thing you wanted to know. Time to move on!

Since I'm also now working on web technologies, I wanted to expand portfolio with projects that were more relevant to my job - All I had were games and a couple of websites.

How Open Source Helped

I was looking for a way to publish an old blog post I wrote on my website - First I tried Medium, but I generally dislike Medium. It feels like it was not meant for developers. That lead me to discover DEV, and with it, a post talking about Hacktoberfest β€” I was sold immediately after!

When I discovered Open Source, I noticed the following:

  • An infinite amount of projects to work on. If I can't do one, I might simply jump onto another - Great for someone like myself.
  • A community of passionate, friendly developers collaborating and communicating together.
  • Barriers ranging from short to very tall - There are issues for those with any level of experience. Woohoo!
  • "Remote Work" vibes, where the maintainers of a project act as project leads. They ensure collaborators stay in tune with the project's vision and are happy to help out. I was convinced. Time to give this a try! Working on multiple ones would keep my mind agile, constantly looking at new horizons.

Tackling The Challenge πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸ’»

With any kind of programming task, I focus on creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first β€”You don't learn variables and start writing classes right awayβ€” Instead, I ask myself questions i.e.:

  • What are the requirements needed to complete this task?
  • Do I need to create a complex input handler this early?
  • Have I made a plan on how to tackle this? Flow Charts, UML Diagrams, Notes, etc.

These were the steps I followed to complete my first Hacktoberfest:

1. Learning How Open Source Actually Works

Projects like First Contributions and Hacktoberfest's Getting Started guide are great for newcomers like me. They teach you the basics of open source, where to find projects, and best practices.

Note on commit signature verification:
Some projects will require you to verify your commits. This means you will have to create and register a GPG signature (I had to do this). Learn more: GitHub Signature Verification

2. Working with Markdown

Spanish is my first language, so I decided to put my translation skills to test. For this PR, I found this project and added a Spanish version:

Add Spanish (LatAm) version #6

Added a spanish version of this repository.

Changes

  • All files now present their alternative language versions inside a list element.

3. Working With HTML, CSS & JavaScript

HTML and CSS are great programming languages for beginners. They provide us with beautiful sites and power the web.

Add EmojiPages link to footer #399

  • [x] πŸ” I have searched the data.js file and confirmed I am not adding a duplicate entry. Note: Different versions of the same show/movie are okay to add such as Lion King (1994) and Lion King (2019) or Rent (movie) and Rent (musical).
  • [x] 🌈 I have added a single year under year. Note: Do not add ranges such as 2017-2019.
  • [x] πŸ“… I have added a type from one of the following: movie , tv or musical.
  • [x] πŸ”— I have added the IMDB page or Playbill archive page under itemLink.
  • [x] 3️⃣ I have at least three emojis listed under emojiImgs.
  • [x] 5️⃣ I have a maximum of five emojis listed under emojiImgs.
  • [x] πŸ‘ My pull request has a descriptive title (such as Added The Lion King or Added Black Panther, The Avengers: Endgame and Thor).
  • [x] ⭐ My genres are all inside of square brackets [ ] and each are individually wrapped in quotation marks and have a comma between each one. (such as submitting this "genres": ["adventure","mystery","animation"] and not this "genres":["adventure, mystery, animation"]).
  • [x] πŸ–οΈ I have placed the new show(s) or movie(s) in alphabetical order based on title. If the show or movie starts with 'the', then use the second word to alphabetize.

Changes

  • I wrapped both footer links inside a list.
  • If we get more projects, we can simply add a new li object, and they'll be evenly spaced between themselves.

Closes #294

JavaScript empowers our web, granting it the ability to do amazing things! I went for basic concepts: Working with an object and editing text inside it.

Add emojiImgs to 'On The Town' and 'RocketMan' #400

  • [x] πŸ” I have searched the data.js file and confirmed I am not adding a duplicate entry. Note: Different versions of the same show/movie are okay to add such as Lion King (1994) and Lion King (2019) or Rent (movie) and Rent (musical).
  • [x] 🌈 I have added a single year under year. Note: Do not add ranges such as 2017-2019.
  • [x] πŸ“… I have added a type from one of the following: movie , tv or musical.
  • [x] πŸ”— I have added the IMDB page or Playbill archive page under itemLink.
  • [x] 3️⃣ I have at least three emojis listed under emojiImgs.
  • [x] 5️⃣ I have a maximum of five emojis listed under emojiImgs.
  • [x] πŸ‘ My pull request has a descriptive title (such as Added The Lion King or Added Black Panther, The Avengers: Endgame and Thor).
  • [x] ⭐ My genres are all inside of square brackets [ ] and each are individually wrapped in quotation marks and have a comma between each one. (such as submitting this "genres": ["adventure","mystery","animation"] and not this "genres":["adventure, mystery, animation"]).
  • [x] πŸ–οΈ I have placed the new show(s) or movie(s) in alphabetical order based on title. If the show or movie starts with 'the', then use the second word to alphabetize.

Changes

  • I added an extra emoji to the following entries (Which had 2 emojis each):
    • On The Town
    • RocketMan

It's also worth noting that certain Emoji combinations won't play properly with JSON. This might be worth investigating further, as I can see emojis work as complex strings that get encoded with different rules (e.g. πŸ’© will be encoded differently than πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ, and their string lengths will vary)

Closes #79

Learning By Example; Developing A Habit

After finishing these tasks, I felt confident enough to tackle more difficult ones. I decided to work on codebases with unfamiliar technologies. It was time to explore the web!


Exploring The Web! 🌐

After finishing these basic tasks, I felt confident enough to tackle more difficult ones.

🌈 DEV

To begin, I decided to work on DEV, as I'm loving this site! It was my first time trying Ruby, so you can imagine the confusion I had with the syntax. DEV's codebase is huge, so I wanted to make changes that I knew weren't going to destroy the site. I approached this with the following mindset:

  • Learn basic Ruby: TutorialsPoint
  • Find out how the Ruby ecosystem works. This article from stuartellis helped me understand the basics of Embedded Ruby Templating (ERB)
  • Hack code around and see what the output gives

Improve the tag edit page (Tag moderators only) #4137

What type of PR is this? (check all applicable)

  • [ ] Refactor
  • [x] Feature
  • [ ] Bug Fix
  • [ ] Documentation Update

Description

Since it's my first time working with Ruby, I decided to learn about ERB and do minor yet pleasing styling changes:

  • Decreased indentation for tag-edit.scss
  • Imported variables & mixins for code standardisation.
  • Moved the section order around to show mainly used ones first.
  • Textarea resizing is restricted to vertical
  • Focusing on a text field will set the border to a different colour
  • The 'Save Changes' CTA has been changed to go in accord with DEV's aesthetic

Related Tickets & Documents

Improve the tag edit pages #3953

Mobile & Desktop Screenshots/Recordings (if there are UI changes)

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 12 15 37 AM

Added to documentation?

  • [ ] docs.dev.to
  • [ ] readme
  • [x] no documentation needed

[optional] What gif best describes this PR or how it makes you feel?

alt_text

Plus: Contributing to DEV gives you a cool badge!
DEV Contributor Badge

Contribute to DEV:

πŸ“Š DeckDeckGo

DeckDeckGo is an open-source presentation editor - And a very powerful one! It was also my first time using StencilJS. This was my approach:

  • Learn the core concepts for Stencil JS: Stencil Documentation
  • Ask proactive questions to the project maintainer (lead):
    • What do they expect from a hypothetical PR? i.e. Acceptance Criteria
    • Ask questions on how to approach the PR
  • Ask what the project structure is. How do files talk to each other? I find this helped me understand the code more than anything for this case!

Add basic vertical split functionality #406

Summary:

  • Add Prop() vertical to DeckdeckgoSlideSplit
  • Append attribute -vertical to slide classes deckgo-slide and deckgo-slide-split
  • Add and extend deckgo-slide-vertical and deckgo-slide-split-vertical styles:
    • deckgo-slide-vertical
      • flex-flow is column wrap
      • height is slide height - bottom paddings * 2: calc(var(--slide-height) - (2 * var(--slide-split-padding-bottom, var(--slide-padding-bottom-default))))
    • deckgo-slide-split-vertical
      • width is slide width - end & start paddings: calc(var(--slide-width) - (var(--slide-split-padding-end, var(--slide-padding-end-default))) - (var(--slide-split-padding-start, var(--slide-padding-start-default))));

Closes #372 πŸš€

Learn more about DeckDeckGo:

πŸ›  Making A VS Code Extension

I started LightSwitch a couple of weeks ago. I decided to write a DEV post about it:

Turns out, it was a success! I started by creating my own issues (After having implemented and pushed the MVP out), adding labels such as hacktoberfest, help wanted, good first issue β€” Last thing I knew, awesome folks were contributing to the project! ❀️

Learn more about Light Switch:

GitHub logo timrodz / vscode-light-switch

πŸ’‘ Light Switch allows you to set-up two themes that swap around day & night. All you have to do is pick your themes and set your preferred times.


Lessons Learned, A Retrospective ❀️

Working with Open Source software has taught me how to become a better developer, and how to approach problems through a new lens. I have actioned my learning into the following areas:

  • Communication
    • Writing commit messages and summaries that are more descriptive and contextual.
    • Focusing on words that can express your thoughts clearly.
    • Asking better, smaller questions and being open to clarify them.
  • Learning new technologies:
    • Web technologies, as complex as they may seem, don't have to be. Try different approaches like toying with code, watching tutorials, taking a course, etc.
  • There are many ways to solve a problem - have an open mind when working with Open Source.

If you're still in doubt...

...We all are at some point, no matter how experienced some may seem! Getting into Open Source can seem daunting, especially if you're just getting started with tech. The first steps are the hardest to give - Start small, grow big.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Posted on by:

timrodz profile

Juan Alejandro Morais

@timrodz

Developer at Sharesies. Part of the Creative Mornings Wellington team. Advocate for physical & mental well-being. Panamanian. (he/him)

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
 

Great article. It's so cool that you learned different languages and contributed to many projects, really an inspiring approach πŸ‘

And of course thx again for the PRs πŸ™

 

And thank you for mentoring me with DeckDeckGo! :D