Hacktoberfest 101 with ReactPlay

Modern software infrastructure is heavily dependent on the open-source community. From your personal projects to a complex app by a tech giant, every piece of code written today is dependent on open source in one way or another.

These open-source projects are developed and maintained by indie developers in their free time. They (usually) don’t get paid to do this. Their passion and dedication to software development encourage them to do it selflessly.

To celebrate such developers and the open source community, DigitalOcean and its partner organize an event every month of October: Hacktoberfest!

Hacktoberfest is a virtual event organized by DigitalOcean and its partners: Appwrite and Docker, throughout October. It is aimed toward open source and introducing it to as many developers as possible.


Every year, many events are organized under the Hacktoberfest event. Talks, Workshops, Meetups, and Hackathons, to name a few. Developers from around the globe can join these events without restriction to their educational/personal background.

The most significant part of Hacktoberfest is open source contribution. Open source project maintainers add the hacktoberfest label to their project’s GitHub Repo. Developers can search for repositories and help resolve issues with hacktoberfest labels. If their PR gets merged, it is labelled hacktoberfest-accepted and closed. When developers close four PRs successfully, they become eligible for the reward!

Excited huh? First, let’s understand why you should contribute to open source first.

As discussed in the introduction, open source projects are the backbone of today’s software infrastructure. Yet the developers behind this are not celebrated that much.

Hence we participate in the fest to give back to the community. We might not help them with a huge paycheck or a great job, but the least we can do is openly appreciate their work and thank them.

Hacktoberfest is the best way to start contributing to open-source projects. There are many issues with all major programming languages frameworks and libraries. Even if you are a beginner who just started coding, you will find an issue to work on.

I started my open-source journey with 2020’s Hacktoberfest itself. I was a newbie who did not understand anything. Eventually, I picked up and now advocate for it to others. You can do this too!

Your personal or college group project is different from those used widely. The approach, technical and business decisions, complexity, everything is widely different from what you build by yourself.

While contributing to open source, you will work on real projects which others will use. While doing so, you will follow the best practices for developing software. This will not only help you to understand software development better but also prepare you for your employment.

Continuing the previous point, you will work with other developers to resolve the issue. A maintainer, reviewer, and other folks like you will ensure that you are doing well with the issue.

This is most likely what you will be doing in your company—working in teams, resolving issues, and deploying to prod with their help. Personal/hobby projects are restricted when it comes to collaboration. Open source helps you to understand how things work for big projects.

Until last year, hacktoberfest contributions were only valid for coding or maintaining a project. But open source is not just for technical folks who write code. Since this year, Hacktoberfest has also been allowing low-code and no-code contributions. You are no longer limited to your skills and interests in contributing to open source.

You can give back to the community in the following ways: writing, design, and advocacy. Here’s the table that explains some of the ways of no-code/low-code contributions.

Contribution TypeLow-codeNo-code
WritingTechnical DocumentationTranslating, Copy editing
DesignTestingUX Testing, Graphics design, video production
AdvocacyTalks, presentations, blogs, podcasts, case studiessocial media blog posts

Please make sure you create pull/merge requests of your low/no code contributions to track it. Project maintainers may need to facilitate tracking those contributions through an activity log.

This sounds interesting. Let us understand how you can contribute to hacktoberfest!

Contributing with code means resolving an issue or introducing a new feature in an existing open-source project.

You need to search for projects that are open for hacktoberfest submissions. Usually, many open source maintainers accept hacktoberfest contributions, but some might not.

Finding a good repository to contribute to is a separate blog in itself. Make sure you follow ReactPLay on Hashnode and Twitter to read it when we publish it. Until then, here is a quick rundown of what you can do:

  1. Go to https://github.com/search and search for hacktoberfest.
  2. Filter your language of choice.
  3. Sort by recently updated to have live repos
  4. Optionally, you can filter by topics or issues to dive deep.
  5. Look for the hacktoberfest label in the Issues tab and proceed further.

If you are exploring different projects, here’s what you can do:

  1. Look for the hacktoberfest tag in the about section.
about .png
  1. Go to the Issues tab and search for the hacktoberfest tags.
Issues .png

Either way, you can create a new issue with the hacktoberfest tag and communicate with the maintainer about the further procedure.

This is the first year of low/no code contributions, so many misconceptions exist. Based on the website’s about section, we can conclude the following:

Your low/no code path contribution must be related to an open-source project. Your contributions to general open source or hacktoberfest events won’t be considered valid.

If you write a blog, give a talk or host an event advocating for the project, then only your submission will be valid for the fest.

The open-source project you contribute to must have a repo/log to track all the activities. You need to make a pull request explaining the contribution you made. This will vary from project to project, so ensure you are well aware.

We are incredibly thrilled to take part in this year’s Hacktoberfest! This is our first year of Hacktoberfest, and we have exciting plans.

Our code contribution has been live since we introduced the project to the public.

You can add a new play, improve the site, or help resolve general issues from the Issues section.

There are plenty of ways to make code contributions to the project. Make sure you are connected to us on Discord for the latest changes and issues about the project.

This involves writing a blog for ReactPlay Blog, talking about ReactPlay, and hosting a workshop that involves ReactPlay.

You can also contribute to improving docs, UX, possible translations, YouTube Videos, testing, and much more.

We will soon make our hacktoberfest activity log available to the public, where you can submit your low/no code contribution to the project.

A few days back, we also announced our first-ever Hackathon, Hack-R-Play.


This is a fifteen days long hackathon sponsored by NHost. You need to build a project using any of the tools from React ecosystem and NHost services and write a blog about it.

We will choose three winners among all the submissions. The winners could win up to $200USD and a Swag kit from NHost.

Here are a few blogs, videos, and threads that will help you to get better:

This must have been overwhelming for you! Please take a moment of peace and go through it once again.

Make sure you follow us on Twitter and are part of our Discord community. Feel free to ask your questions in the discord.

Until then, happy contributing!


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