Hacktoberfest 2022: Everything You Need to Know to Participate

Hacktoberfest 2022: Everything You Need to Know to Participate

Originally published on my personal blog.

Hacktoberfest is an annual event that occurs in October. It is created by DigitalOcean. Thousands of developers participate in this event across the globe.

This article explains what Hacktoberfest is, how you can participate, and more!

What is Hacktoberfest?

As mentioned in the introduction, Hacktoberfest occurs every year during October. It encourages developers to contribute to open source projects and practice programming by participating in solving problems across projects.

Who Can Participate in Hacktoberfest?

All developers of different levels and backgrounds can participate in Hacktoberfest. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, or a junior or a senior, you can participate in Hacktoberfest.

There are two ways to participate in Hacktoberfest: as a contributor or as a maintainer.

A contributor is someone that helps open source projects resolve issues they have opened. Whereas a maintainer manages an open source project and presents issues that they need help with.

New in Hacktoberfest 2022

Hacktoberfest 2022 encourages low-code and non-code contributions, which can be done through blog posts, translating content, graphic design, and more. The contributions must be tracked through GitHub Pull Requests (PRs) as other types of contributions.

How to Participate in Hacktoberfest 2022?

Registration to Hacktoberfest

Registration to Hacktoberfest opens on September 26th. When you register, you'll be able to choose whether you're participating as a contributor or as a maintainer.

Participating as a Contributor

As a contributor, during October you must have four PRs that either:

  • Are merged into a participating repository;
  • Or have the hacktoberfest-accepted label;
  • Or have an approving review, but not closed or draft.

A participating repository is a repository that has the hacktoberfest topic. Participation can be done through GitHub or GitLab.

Participating as a Maintainer

To participate as a maintainer, you must facilitate participation for contributors. The first step is to either:

  1. Add the hacktoberfest topic to your repository;
  2. Or add the hacktoberfest-accepted label into your repository to be used on pull requests.

Then, you must merge four PRs into your repository during October. If you decide to use the second option mentioned in the first step, make sure to add the hacktoberfest-accepted label into these PRs.


  1. For PRs to be counted into your participation in Hacktoberfest, they must be merged between October 1st and October 31st.
  2. Contributions must be made to public repositories.
  3. If a PR has a label that contains the word spam in it, the PR will not be counted. Also, if a participant has 2 or more spam PRs, they'll be disqualified from Hacktoberfest.
  4. If a PR has a label that contains the word invalid, it will not be counted. The exception for this is if the PR also has the label hacktoberfest-accepted.

Unwritten Rules

This section covers rules that aren't necessarily covered by Hacktoberfest, but, from personal experience, are highly recommended to follow for both contributors and maintainers.

For Contributors

  1. Do not spam any maintainer: Hacktoberfest is a busy season for maintainers, so they'll highly likely take time to take a look at your PR. Spamming maintainers does not speed up the process and only ruins the experience for maintainers.
  2. Make valuable contributions: During Hacktoberfest, many repositories are created with the purpose of participating in Hacktoberfest but without providing any value. For example, repositories where you just contribute by adding your name to a list. A lot of these repositories are caught by Hacktoberfest eventually, are disqualified, and contributions from them are labeled as invalid. There's no point in wasting time on this.
  3. Give back to your favorite projects: There are many projects out there that you have benefitted from throughout the year. Take this time to give back to these projects by helping them with the issues they have.
  4. Follow rules set by each project: Projects should have contributing guidelines that explain how you can contribute to them. Make sure you read those first before you contribute.

For Maintainers

  1. Create contributing guidelines: Whether you have a small or big project, contributing guidelines make it easier for your contributors to know how they can contribute to your project.
  2. Welcome all developers: Many beginner developers participate in Hacktoberfest. They may lack experience when it comes to contributing, but they're eager to do it. Make sure to be welcoming to all developers of different experiences. If possible, try creating issues of different levels of expertise.

Additional Resources

If you're interested in learning more about Hacktoberfest and how to contribute, here are some resources that can be helpful:

  1. Hacktoberfest's participation page.
  2. For contributors: Tips for Beginners to Open Source Projects.
  3. For maintainers: Tips for Beginner Maintainers of Open Source Projects.
  4. Awesome for Beginners list.