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So much better than the Oktoberfest - First steps in open-source!

As a German who has already been to the real Oktoberfest, I can definitely say: Hacktoberfest is so much better than the Oktoberfest!

Instead of being stuck in a way too stuffy tent with too many drunk people, you learn a lot about collaborating with amazing people on open-source projects from all over the world.

What is Hacktoberfest?

Hacktoberfest takes place every year in October (the open-source month) and encourages participation in the open-source community, which grows bigger and bigger.

What is open source?

Open source is open to everyone. It's bubbling with creativity and collaboration. Everyone is trying to help different communities and projects, they add more features, and be a small part of something huge.

Open source is so powerful because it lowers barriers to use and collaboration, allowing people to spread ideas faster and improve things faster.

How to start contributing to open-source projects?

As a beginner, I've been thinking about contributing to open-source projects for a long time, but have not dared so far. However, the inhibition threshold is quite high for a beginner ("What if the community don't like my implementation?","I don't want to crash something").
But don't hesitate - Hacktoberfest comes to the rescue.

Which projects can I start with as a beginner?

Hacktoberfest is especially good if you want to make your first experiences with open-source. In this month the community is "extra-open" for beginners. You can search for labels with "hacktoberfest" and “Good First Issue". There is so much to contribute out there, even if you don't have much programming experience yet.

In my case: The weekend started and there were no excuses!
I was ready to contribute, but this year I don't do the "big projects" (start with something small, then go for bigger projects). For this time, I just trained to make pull requests and made small contributions to the following sample projects:

Getting Started with a little Exercise:

To practice your first pull-request and working with Git, a good start is to add your name and profile to a contributers.md file. Some projects are happy for you to submit yourself and your GitHub-profile when you join their community.

Add something to a Collection:

There are a couple of repositories on GitHub that compile a large collection of programming websites and links, that can be very helpful for staying informed and learning new things.
I contributed to a repo with the "Best programming websites a programmer should visit" and added a few with a brief description.

Updating a Contribution Guide

Some projects have grown very fast and still lack of a written guide that describes how to contribute to the project and what rules to follow. The perfect little project to help this community is to rewrite/ update their contribution guide. But please avoid to completely rewriting their ideas - better ask and make suggestions.

Creating App-Ideas for other developers:

This is a helpful project for developers, who want to build something but don't have an idea what to do. In this repo I added an app-idea with a list of user stories, bonus-features, which should be implemented and some resources and links to help the devs.

Collection of Data structures & Algorithms - Insert a Priority Queue

There are many great repositories on GitHub, that collect various data structures and algorithms in different programming languages. My contribution was to implement a Priority Queue with an array in java.

That's it for this weekend - but October has only just begun 🎃

If your goal is to learn how to collaborate with others or how open source works and contribute to projects, you should definitely join!

Join the hacktoberfest-community here.

Besides: Hacktoberfest is also better than Oktoberfest, because you won't get a hangover while participating. Instead, DigitalOcean is offering the traditional Hacktoberfest t-shirt prize or, even better, a plant-a-tree alternative {🌱 => 🌳} !

Happy Hacktoberfest 2021 💻🍁

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