It’s that time of the year again. Hacktoberfest 2019 begun a couple of days ago and pull requests are off the charts! We are back in this time where developers get to contribute to open-source software while getting something back. Or so we think. Last year I got my Hacktoberfest PRs wrapped within the first week of October. Even better, I was one of the 46,088 developers to earn some Hacktoberfest t-shirt, magnets and stickers. This year there will be 50,000 winning spots. I noticed that the organisation will put in some measures to reduce spam repositories and pull requests.
Last year when browsing repositories to get my PRs in I could observe a lot of abuse as I expected. Abuse came both from repository owners and so-called contributors. One thing to command this year is that the organisers are taking actionable measures to prevent that abuse from occurring. Or at least reduce it. Here are the main to measures:
- Hacktoberfest 2019 is the first to feature an “invalid” label to mark spammy PRs preventing them from getting counted. However, repository owners only have seven days to mark spammy PRs as such otherwise these will be counted in. I think this is a good way to encourage repository owners to be more responsive to pull requests. Also, I believe this will help them giving real contributors faster feedback.
- The organisers will remove bad repositories like the ones where people simply add their name to a file. However, I think it might not cut out all the bad weeds. Per example, last year I saw a few repositories where you would add your name and a picture to an HTML page. Technically there is code but the quality of the contribution and the repository are extremely low. The community will be key to tackle this by reporting bad repositories with an email at Hacktoberfest@DigitalOcean.com.
Talking about good repositories, I have a colleague who created a repo a few weeks ago. It’s called aws-lambda-swift-sprinter and is available on Github. The goal is to help developers writing lambdas in Swift. I started contributing today so you may want to jump in by offering quality contributions to a quality project. The project is still in its inception, however, it will be polished over time with the community’s help. And maybe this will help to bring Swift developers into the Lambdas world. The more the merrier! Plus there is more than enough work to get your Hacktoberfest 2019 swag and help the dev community.
If you go other repositories that’s fine too, just go and build what you wish existed!