How to contribute to 👩‍💻👨‍💻Hacktoberfest and not 💩shitoberfest

Juliette Audema
Juliette AudemaOct 2, 2020

From Hacktoberfest ...


HacktoberFest is an event held annually in October by Digital Ocean to encourage participation in Open Source.
Concretely, we register with our GitHub account on the event's dedicated site and we have one month to complete 5 Pull Requests (PR).
By fulfilling these conditions, you will receive a free t-shirt and stickers some time later. From this year there is also an ecological option: you can choose to have a tree planted instead of receiving a t-shirt.


... at shitoberfest

The event started yesterday and has already generated a lot of (virtual) ink on Twitter, so much so that a hashtag and a @shitoberfest twitter account have been created. Many open source maintainers have complained about spam PRs interfering with their (volunteer) work as they now have to deal with PRs which are totally useless to their project.
They are often PR modifying the documentation or the ReadMe, or correcting small typefaces, or even adding unnecessary comments like # AMAZING PROJECT! , so, yes, there is something be angry.


Quick reaction to limit spam

The same day, the GitHub team released a new moderation feature in the repo settings that allows you to limit contributions in three cases:
prevent recent GitHub accounts from contributing (a lot of day one spam comes from accounts created in the previous month)
limit the modification to accounts that have already contributed to the project
limit the modification to project contributors (which are managed in the settings)
And that for periods ranging from 24 hours to 6 months, including one month (practical for Hacktoberfest!)
In the hours following the start of the complaints, Digital Ocean also took further steps to limit spam. In previous years, they had already implemented PR invalidation if it was tagged as spam or invalid, thus preventing spammers from receiving their t-shirts. Maintainers can now report their repo as not participating in Hacktoberfest, they have more time to report PRs as spam and users with PRs too often tagged as spam will also be banned. to participate.


Edit of October 6

Digital changed the opt-out condition for mainteneu.r.se.s to opt-in:

Condition opt-out

Condition opt-out

In short, measures are taken to prevent TDD (T-shirt Driven Development).

That said, how can you positively contribute to open-source, if you've never done it and want to get started?

Des exemples de contribution utiles

Des exemples de contribution utiles

Referral sites to find projects


Several sites allow you to find projects looking for contributors:

  • Awesome for beginners lists easy projects to contribute as a beginner.

  • codetriage allows you to subscribe through your GitHub account to projects of interest and send emails regularly with the results of these projects in order to participate. For the anecdote, codetriage is done under Ruby on Rails. 🎉

It is possible to search for issues on GitHub with tags like good first issues for issues especially for beginners. The Good first issue site aggregates the most recent issues.


How to participate ?


After finding a project you want to participate in, it's best to look in their ReadMe or if there is a Contributing.md file to see if there is a particular process to follow.
The folders on Github have an Issues section which can be created by both project developers and users who are having difficulty. Usually (it depends on the contribution guide!) It is better to indicate that you want to resolve the issue, otherwise there may be several participants and unnecessary contributions.
After coding, you can open a PR referencing the issue you want to resolve.
If you have never done PR, you can start with the First contributions online file which will show you how!


Have a good Hacktoberfest (productive!)
Resources for this article:
Set Yourself Up For Success During Hacktoberfest by Monica Powell
First timers only

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Juliette Audema
Juliette AudemaOct 2, 2020

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