Ghosts, Candy, Witches, and Open Source?

With Halloween quickly approaching, it's about that time to figure out what you are going to be dressing up as.

You can always rely on the classics (ghosts, stormtroopers, Three Hole Punch Jim etc.) for costumes and easily wander through the neighborhoods (or parking lots) snagging up bags full of candy.

It won't be candy we are giving out, it'll be pull requests.

Let's do things differently. Instead of taking, we'll be giving, and it won't be candy we are giving out, it'll be pull requests.

Knock, knock, knock.

To coincide with everyone's favorite candy-centered holiday, the folks at Digital Ocean and GitHub have joined forces to launch Hacktoberfest, which a month-long event aimed at supporting the open-source community.

Here are a few reasons to contribute:

  • It's something different, and if you've been on the fence about doing something like this - here's your chance.
  • You get some free stickers for signing up - and folks love stickers.
  • If you contribute at least 4 pull requests, you get a shirt.

It's worth noting that your contributions can be made to any public repository (even your own). It's also a great excuse if you are already an open-source contributor to push out some of those features that have been sitting in your backlog forever.

Where/What to Contribute?

Since the event recognizes any publicly hosted repositories, you can really do whatever you'd like - but I realize that lack of structure can be intimidating, so Hacktoberfest has your back there.

The event has its own Hacktoberfest label to indicate issues associated with the event that you can find here or throw the following into the search on GitHub:


There are thousands of projects that have available issues that range from trivial to extremely involved; you can be sure that there's something for everyone, regardless of skill level.

Sign up today! It's not too late!

If you want to grab your candy bag and start giving some treats out to random repositories, then just go visit the Hacktoberfest site to register.

Once you've signed up, your contributions will start being tracked towards the event (and the sweet t-shirt) on the site:


It's worth repeating that any pull requests to any public repository on GitHub will count towards your progress, so it's a fun (and potentially easy) way to get started in the open-source world.

I'd highly recommend browsing through the following locations to find something that suits your interests/abilities:

  • Up For Grabs - A very popular aggregate of open-source issues, specifically curated for new contributors.
  • Hacktoberfest Issues - A collection of all of the issues that have been labeled as associated with Hacktoberfest on GitHub

After signing up for Hacktoberfest, you'll see a huge collection of the most popular repositories for the event under your stats page:

most popular hack repos

You'll find many easily accessible projects like freecodecamp/guides, as well as many others specifically tailored to the event like AliceInWonderland/hacktoberfest to help you get started (and on your way to that sweet t-shirt).

If you are interested in participating – don’t delay, as the event ends soon. There are thousands of repositories out there in need of some treats; so, don your favorite costume, boot up your IDE, and enjoy the holiday.