Hackoberfest 2020 | Participation Perks

By Cody Halbleib & Todd Matthews

This year, UDig participated in Hacktoberfest 2020. Hacktoberfest is an initiative hosted by Digital Ocean every Fall to increase and improve contributions to open-source software. Our developers contributed to several different projects, and we banded together to start new projectsThis blog shares our thoughts on why we encourage you to take part in Hacktoberfest next year.  

Explore Impressive Tech Stacks & Grow your Skills 

One of our teams worked on a .NET Core and Angular application hosted in Docker. The team for this project self-organized and had never worked together on a development project. The group agreed on one ground rule – everyone was free to develop compelling technology. This ground rule enabled front-end developers to explore back-end development and vice-versa, providing a safe space for developers to succeed outside of their comfort zone. The freedom of choice made leveling-up our skillset an enjoyable process. 

Build Camaraderie 

As previously mentioned, the folks on the .NET Core application team had never worked together on a development projectWithout ever meeting in person due to the ongoing pandemic, we developed requirements, assigned the work items to development sprints, and began development within the first few days of the project kickoff. This increased reliance on each other and built new friendships. 

Share Expertise 

Each of the UDig developers had the expertise to share. Every member of the team came from a different development background. We had expert data modelers, frontend developers, and backend developers. We performed code reviews for our domain of expertise, benefiting the whole team.  

Gain Familiarity with Emerging Technology 

Our team contributed to community open-source software as well. The process of searching across GitHub for aexciting project expands your overall awareness of available libraries and applications. One of these projects could be a library that saves the day for a client down the road! This event is perfect for keeping up-to-date on the latest and greatest modern technologies. 

Improve Accountability 

Hacktoberfest enhanced guidelines this year, which improved contribution quality and accountability. Developers are incentivized to participate in Hacktoberfest because, after four pull requests in October, they receive a free tee-shirt or can have a tree planted on their behalf. Developers only receive credit for a pull request after a repository maintainer approves their pull request. The incentive holds developers accountable to complete the event by contributing quality code. One of our in-house developers even created a project that tracked each developers progress towards the pull request goal. Some of our developers blew past the four required contributions. 

Contributions have Global Reach 

Fixing a bug on a well-known open-source project can positively affect thousands of developers. The global reach of these changes is personally fulfilling knowing that it improves the quality of life for other users. Additionally, these types of changes help to improve your personal and organization’s brand. 

Hacktoberfest empowers participants to step outside of their comfort zone, communicate personal expertise, gain familiarity with emerging technologieslearn and improve personal accountability, and contribute to improving the world. We encourage you to take part in next year’s Hacktoberfest! 

About The Author

Cody Halbleib is a Senior Consultant on the Software team. His family is his partner, Jamie, and his Border Collie mix, Walter.