HactoberFest - Introduction to Open Source

HactoberFest - Introduction to Open Source

HactoberFest? What is this thing?

If you are a beginner or even an aspiring developer you might not be aware with this term of HactoberFest. well, what is it then? some college fest?

The answer is NO. HactoberFest is not a specific college fest. Its an Open Source Event. Hacktoberfest is DigitalOcean’s annual event that encourages people to contribute to open source throughout the month of october.

DigitalOcean Says : "Much of modern tech infrastructure relies on open-source projects—including some of DigitalOcean’s own products— are built and maintained by passionate people who often don’t have the staff or budgets to do much more than keep the project alive. Hacktoberfest is all about giving back to those projects, sharpening skills, and celebrating all things open source, especially the people that make open source so special."

But what is this Open Source?

Redhat, a very renowned platform defines open source as below:

Open source is a term that originally referred to open source software (OSS). Open source software is code that is designed to be publicly accessible—anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see fit. So it is like a transparent piece of software that can be edited by developers, usually as a way to give back to the community. Most such software are very reliable given that they are always under radar of multiple developers, and thus cannot steal your data unlike the closed-source software.

Open source software is developed in a decentralized and collaborative way, relying on peer review and community production. It is often cheaper, more flexible, and has more longevity than its proprietary peers because it is developed by communities rather than a single author or company.

In other words, open source is contributing to public projects with or without code.

Without Code?

YES, Open Source does not just mean that there needs to be a contribution via coding, there are many projects that needs someone to sort out documents for them. In fact, when I started open source I did not do so using code. I rather tried to search for spelling mistakes in documents for my first few contributions.

Every contribution counts, it need not be very big, even a spelling mistake at 2-3 places is a good start for your open source Journey.

If you do not know how to code, just try to improve project documentation, increase image qualities or make svgs for pngs in projects. this is good enough to start. No need for complex 1000 line changes and commits. Just 3-4 lines is good to go too and people will always appreciate the help.

Role of HactoberFest in the Journey

HactoberFest is a really great event to start your open source journey with. The best thing about HactoberFest is flexibility and independence. when working on a particular issue, it is not necessary that you are bound to complete the issue even if you are assigned to it. People will appreciate your try as much as your success.

Perks of HactoberFest are as below:

  • if you have 4 pull/merge requests as an contributor/maintainer you complete HactoberFest.
  • The first 40,000 participants (maintainers and contributors) who complete Hacktoberfest can elect to receive one of two prizes: a tree planted in their name, or the Hacktoberfest 2022 t-shirt.
  • Along with this you also get badges for completion that you can showcase on your Github profile/LinkedIn or Twitter to strengthen your resume.