Beginner’s guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

by anupmaurya
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Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

Hacktoberfest is an annual event hosted by DigitalOcean that aims to encourage developers to contribute to open-source projects and give back to the community.

This time it’s 8th year in a row in partnership with GitHub and other companies, that it bring developers with the same mindset together from all over the world.

Before going deep in about Hacktoberfest, Let understand

What is Open Source?

Open-source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution.

When some source code is made Open source, it includes permission to use, modify, contribute to the existing source code. The use of the term originated with the software but has expanded beyond the software sector to collaboration and contribution.

Open-source projects that are hosted in public repositories benefit from contributions made by the broader developer community and are typically managed through Git.

Now you have understand what is Open Source, Let

What is Hacktoberfest?

Hacktoberfest is a month-long challenge. It happens every year in the month of October.

Hacktoberfest is open to everyone and it marks the celebration of Open Source. It’s the biggest Open Source event that encourages newbies to participate in Open Source and create their 1st meaningful PR. Hacktoberfest encourages participation in giving back to the open-source community by completing pull requests, participating in events, and donating to open source projects. Also, all backgrounds and skills levels are encouraged to complete the challenge.

How does it work?

  • Maintainers determine if their open-source projects participate.
  • Quality pull requests submitted on GitHub and GitLab are rewarded.
  • Engaged maintenance of Hacktoberfest tagged repositories are rewarded.

How can you Join?

Step – 1:

Create a GitHub account, if you don’t already have one. Need help? Here are some resources to help you set up your GitHub account:

Step – 2:

Register for Hacktoberfest: Navigate to the Hacktoberfest registration page and follow the instructions. But, read the rules carefully before you do and then sign In using your GitHub credentials.

Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

Step – 3:

Find good projects worth contributing on the GitHub page. You can type label:hactoberfest is:issue is:open

  • You can add a language label of your choice to filter open issues. If you are a beginner and can’t find good issues then there’s tag label:good first issue which filters out issues for beginners who want to contribute.

Here’s something beginner-friendly for you:

Step – 4:

Submit PRs: Try and submit at least 4 PRs and wait for it to be verified. Make sure to submit quality PRs.

When can you join

Registrations are now open but you can sign up anytime between October 1 and October 31 in any time zone. Just be sure to sign up on the official Hacktoberfest website for your pull requests to count.

Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

How to earn a Swag kit:

For your PR to count it must be:

  • Submitted in a public repo, AND the PR is labelled as hacktoberfest-accepted by a maintainer. or
  • Submitted in a repo labelled ‘hacktoberfest’ , AND Merged, OR Approved
Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021


  • You can opt not to receive a t-shirt and stickers and you can choose to have a tree planted in your name and help make Hacktoberfest 2021 more carbon neutral.
Beginner's guide to Hacktoberfest 2021

T-shirts are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to the first 55,000 participants who successfully completed the Hacktoberfest challenge. You will be receiving mail when you have completed the challenge. Further details will be provided with the mail itself.

In past years, shirts have arrived in December or January, depending on how far you live from San Francisco. The Digital Ocean team should eventually contact you asking for your shirt size and shipping address. (Keep in mind they are shipping thousands of shirts so this process will take a while.)

Don’t miss this opportunity. Start contributing to open source and get a limited edition T-shirt for Free!

To Learn more visit  Hackoberfest website for more.


  • Pull requests can be submitted to any opted-in repository on GitHub or GitLab.
  • The pull request must contain commits you made yourself.
  • If a maintainer reports your pull request as ‘spam’ or ‘invalid’, it will not be counted toward your participation in Hacktoberfest.
  • If a maintainer reports behaviour that’s not in line with the project’s code of conduct, you will be ineligible to participate.
  • To get a shirt, you must make four approved pull requests (PRs) on opted-in projects between October 1-31 in any time zone.
  • This year, the first 55,000 participants can earn a T-shirt.

What not to do!

In line with Hacktoberfest value “quantity is fun, quality is key”, here are examples of the PRs that we consider to be low-quality contributions (which are discouraged):

  • PRs that are automated (e.g. scripted opening PRs to remove whitespace/optimize images)
  • PRs that are disruptive (e.g. taking someone else’s branch/commits and making a PR)
  • PRs that are regarded by a project maintainer as a hindrance vs. helping
  • Something that’s clearly an attempt to simply +1 your PR count for October
  • Last but not least, one PR to fix a typo is fine. 5 PRs to remove stray whitespace… it’s not.

Find the most frequently asked questions answered here.

FAQs are divided into 6 categories:

  • General
  • Rules
  • Events
  • Maintainers
  • Swag & Shipping
  • Troubleshooting

Thank you for reading, If you have reached so far, please like the article, It will encourage me to write more such articles. Do share your valuable suggestions, I appreciate your honest feedback!

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