What is Hacktoberfest? (for complete beginners)
As the official website of Hacktoberfest (https://hacktoberfest.com) says-
“HACKTOBERFEST IS FOR EVERYONE. WHETHER IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME—OR YOUR NINTH—IT’S ALMOST TIME TO HACK OUT FOUR PRISTINE PULL/MERGE REQUESTS AND COMPLETE YOUR MISSION FOR OPEN SOURCE.”
Everyone, First Time, Four PRs, and Open Source.
You need to contribute to open-source projects, you need to make 4 successful Pull Requests, basically, PRs that are accepted and merged in the project before the ending date of Hacktoberfest. This is it, this is Hacktoberfest!
Some rules are there though, those projects must be participating in Hacktoberfest and should be following the guidelines, and your PRs should also follow the guidelines. You can know more about these things on their website, no need to repeat everything again here.
My Story of Getting into Open Source
So I first got to know about Open Source from Kunal and Eddie. I got interested as they really insisted upon contributing to Open-Source. And as I love to experiment and try out new things, I rebuilt my GitHub Profile, which was blank for a few years because I knew nothing about that place before, then I learnt how to use Git, and GitHub, what is everything & how it works. It was quite confusing and challenging in the starting, but I never stopped.
If something is hard for you, do something to make it even harder, and challenge yourself, if you are somebody who never gives up, you will learn great things.
… And I did the same! I participated in a Hackathon, made a team of 3, and started working on a project. No experience of working in a team before, using Git/GitHub as a team, maintaining a project, or anything. Complete noob. But I learnt things along the way. Various kinds of errors and merge conflicts appeared along the way, I gradually solved all of them. We didn’t win, but that experience taught me so many things, that it became really easy to contribute to Open Source Projects on GitHub and operate Git. It was a piece of cake now.
[By the way, my first open-source contribution was centring an image on a website 😅]
You can get inspiration from my little story, as this is the proof that everyone can do it, and as Pradumn says -
I will also be writing an article on this topic, so stay tuned if you are interested 👀
Starting out with Hacktoberfest 2022! (My First Time 🤩)
So as I was now active in the Open Source World, it was obvious to get to know about Hacktoberfest. I heard about it last year also but wasn’t knowing the ABC of Open Source. In the starting I thought that probably this is not for me, because I only know HTML, CSS and Basic Python, what can I even contribute with these little skills?
But as I researched more and more, I made up my mind to at least give it a shot. This can work as a booster for my Open Source Journey. I never thought of getting the swags, I only did it to boost up my Open Source work. I was already firing the bullets of contributions to open-source projects, now I needed to target the HacktoberFest projects, this is the best way I can put it 😅.
Problems will always be waiting for you…
Now in the starting, it was kinda hard to find good projects where I can contribute, if I get any, a lot of problems popped up, for example, lack of skills, unable to find issues I can work on and if I get any good issue, it is already assigned. Huh, that was irritating in the starting, but I kept searching.
A lot of other problems occurred in my life, I was going through physical and mental health issues. I couldn’t sit at my desk as my body didn’t allow it, and I cannot focus as my mind was not at peace. These things pulled my legs down and I was once pretty sure that I am not gonna make it.
With time, even while being physically unfit, I gave very little time to coding every day. Luckily I got some good projects and raised issues I can work on. Little work every day, with a lot of dedication, I solved them and created my PRs. A few of those projects were not accepted by Hacktoberfest as they were not according to their guidelines.
The Taste of Hard Work
Days passed, and finally, I had 4 merged PRs by the half of October. I took a breath of satisfaction and calmness. Finally, it was completed. 4 out of 4 successful PRs! 🥳
(I 🔴live-streamed my last contribution, you may check it out, but it’s in the Hindi Language. This was my first live-stream on my YouTube channel)
The happiness I got from this significantly improved my mental and physical health. 🌱
I still wasn’t thinking of those prizes, I literally did it for fun as I said earlier, and this mindset of enjoying the process rather than focusing on the end goal helped me a lot. Prizes are only a way of appreciation for our good work, we should not make them the ultimate goal.
During these times, I shared my achievements on Twitter, here is the tweet when my last PR was accepted -
I want to thank everybody who helped me out during this time and appreciate the efforts of everyone who is trying to help others and contribute whatever they can to make this world a better place. ☺️
Also, Thank You for reading this post, I hope it inspires you to do good work for this world ✨
Keep Contributing and Take Care ❤️