It’s Preptember!!!! What does that even mean? Story time. Last year was the first year I had ever heard about Preptember. We, at Virtual Coffee were just starting to get ready to our first Hacktoberfest together, and somewhere along the line, someone told us that September was coined Preptember as we prepared to go into Hacktoberfest. And in a lot of ways, for organizers, Preptember is even more work than Hacktoberfest. Because this is month that we prepare for all of our events, that we make sure we have support systems in place for our members, that we do the work to ensure that we’ve thought through every problem imaginable and we set everyone up for success.
As part of Preptember, this is what we’re doing at Virtual Coffee:
Every month we do a challenge where we try to work on one focus for the month and produce something for the end of the month. This month, we’re asking our Maintainers to prep their repos by reviewing with our checklist and we’re preparing our contributors by asking them to write issues for our Preptember Challenge. We have discussions going on in the channel and support for every member.
We rely so heavily on documentation as part of all of our processes. As part of this, not only do we create documentation for our events, projects, and initiatives, but we also do our best to update them regularly. For example, we recently started using Github discussions for our VCIO repository. As a result, we needed to add instructions about using the discussion board to our Contributing.md file. This file is the first step in clear communication with our contributors. It explains the process for opening issues, contributing, and submitting Pull Requests (PRs).
We’re very focused on making sure members at all stages of the coding journey have the opportunity to participate in Hacktoberfest. This means that we need a wide variety of repositories that are welcoming, have clear documentation and communication, and are participating in Hacktoberfest. In an effort to create a well-rounded list that isn’t limited by our own experiences and backgrounds, we’ve opened a public discussion on our repository to gather suggestions that we’ll review before they are included on our Virtual Coffee list
Back by popular demand, we’ll be asking our members to participate in Hacktoberfest with our support by signing up as Maintainers, Contributors, and/or Mentors. As part of this, we’ll ensure that contributors who want mentors will have support, and that maintainers have our support as well, as we support them as we review their repositories and by helping them to create issues for contributors.
We want to make sure that we educate and empower our members as they journey through Hacktoberfest. This month, we’ll be doing three Lunch & Learns on open source related content: An Open Source Project Walkthrough, How to create an Open Source Software Repository, and An Intro to Hacktoberfest and Open Source Contributions.
Although we aren’t doing this in September, we’re preparing for it. We want to make sure we have an issue that everyone can participate in, that we can demonstrate, and that we can answer questions about together. This event will give our members the confidence they need to get them started–and maybe even complete!–their first Hacktoberfest pull request.
This is a glimpse of what we’re doing to support our members and we’ll be revealing more details as the month goes on. If you want to support us, you can volunteer–form coming soon!–or sponsor us. But if you couldn’t tell from our most recent podcast episode, we are super excited that we’re working on our second round of Hacktoberfest as a community, and we’re stoked to see how this year turns out.
If you have any tips for our contributors and/or maintainers, drop it in the comments!