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Hacktoberfest is just about here!

Hey folks. Hacktoberfest will soon be upon us! This is an event that runs during the month of October, meant to encourage the development of open source projects by rewarding pull requests with a T-shirt. The idea is to try and get new developers involved, either those new to software development completely or at least those new to the given project.

Contributions are tracked by allowing the above website read access to your github contributions. Once you register, you must make four pull requests in October to qualify for a shirt. Last year nearly 50k people participated. I think that would easy for us, of course, and I think you should all register, but that’s not really why I’m creating this post.

Take a look at the “maintainers” tab of the event details. In order to draw Hacktoberfest contributions, we need to create a “Hacktoberfest” label on the projects we maintain and apply them to issues we think would be a good fit. Those issues should, to quote the linked page, “have a well-defined scope and [should be] self-contained.”

I’m going through the labeling/fleshing-out-issues process in my own projects now, care to join me?


I would definitely encourage everyone to do this because it’s a great way to give back to the Open Source community. For me this will be my 4th time doing it since they started it back in October 2014. Plus, if do the minimum 4 PRs you will get some cool swag from DigitalOcean such a cool custom T-shirt, stickers, and a promo code to redeem 100 credits for DigitalOcean.


That sounds like a great initiative.

We’ve been using the github recommended label good first issue where we can to try to suggest places for people to jump in.

If someone ends up looking for an issue to pick up and you’re not finding an issue labeled hactoberfest you can see a bunch of good ones to start with in the ROS 2 organization by searching for the label like this org:ros2 label:"good first issue".

And I’d encourage maintainers to consider tagging issues with this tag, good first issue as well as hacktoberfest if you’re doing this as that will be more understandable once Hacktoberfest has finished.

Yeah pro tip: rename the “good first issue” label to “Hacktoberfest” for a month.

Just a reminder to create/apply that label! Hacktoberfest has begun as of a few days ago. Perhaps that’s obvious.

I was going to send out a note to the core Open Robotics devs to see if they can’t add a few more tickets to the queue.

Does anyone have time to write a script that would add the hacktoberfest label to any issues that also have the help wanted label (and that would be able to remove them afterwards)?

I doubt any of us have time to manually go through and add these labels on all of our repositories, since we’re trying to get features finished for Eloquent and kickstart the Noetic release.

I am not sure if that is a good idea. My understanding is that Hacktoberfest and Google Code-In are for students and as such the tickets might need to be curated a bit so they are at the right level of complexity. I don’t think we want them biting off more than they can reasonably chew.

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We also have the “good first issue” label.

Also, part of learning to do open source, at least in my experience, is learning to gauge what you’re capable of and being able to help fill out a bug report or feature request even if there’s not enough information to start. I’m not advocating we make it harder than it needs to be, nor that we avoid putting any time into it, but I’d would not underestimate the abilities of students by limiting it to only trivial tasks. And we have already spent a bit of time curating “help wanted” and “good first issue” tickets in the past, so that seems like a good starting point.

I agree, they don’t need to be trivial, but I do recommend curating them to make sure they give clear guidance regarding what should happen. This is meant to attract folks who haven’t contributed in the past and may not have all the context we’re used to them having.