Surviving Hacktoberfest

November 6, 2019herflis

Hacktoberfest was a popular event among our product developers in the last couple of years. Since we’re open source, it was obvious to us to join and celebrate it in our ways, giving to the community what we are good at.

But this year we decided to leave our comfort zone and take part as a company as well. Let’s see how we loved and hated this year’s October, how we overcome obstacles, what we’ve learned and what we can and will do better next year.

The first one is always the hardest, they say

As I mentioned, this was the first time sensenet has taken part in the Hacktoberfest celebration as a company. The idea of participation came at the last minute and in the absence of experience we looked at others how to set goals and how to motivate the community to contribute. The whole thing looked a bit challenging, but the results from others have shown that it will be beneficial to all participants.

Stop! Collaborate and listen

Since it was our first try, we did not set any concrete target like the number of expected pull requests or the minimum number of contributors. We only knew that we want to increase community engagement and product awareness. To make the opportunity to participate and contribute more appealing, we decided to offer extra swag as we have seen it from others. We did not know how many of you would be interested, so considering our options, we figured out that we would reward the first 100 participants with a limited-edition t-shirt and a sticker.

We wanted to involve as many people as possible, so we were looking for ways to get the message across. We wrote a blog post and share it through the social media channels where our company and our product are available. But the biggest boost came from sharing the post within a reddit thread, and it was quickly added to a list and website of companies that give participants an extra gift.

To keep the hype alive throughout the month, we keep sharing the message with specific daily twitter posts, regular thematic newsletters, Facebook and blog posts and tried to answer all the questions and the actual pull requests as fast as we could.

As it was a last-minute thing, we did not have time to prepare enough suitable issues for newcomers. This is definitely a thing we need to improve in the future.

Totally worth it

Let’s look at the results in numbers. Over 250 of you have registered through the form on our website. I would like to thank you once again for your interest. We didn't expect so many applicants, we really appreciate it, you’re awesome!

In a typical month there’re 25 pull requests overall made in the repositories of our GitHub organization. This is not a huge number, but we’re a small team, so you can imagine how big it is for us, that you’ve made 287 extra pull requests in this month. ?? These pull requests were made by more than 200 new contributors, which is pretty awesome. We are very sorry that we cannot reward every one of you, we will surely figure out something to level up next year in this thing as well.

Although Hacktoberfest 2019 is over, we are looking forward to hearing from you anytime. All your feedback and help is important to us, any ideas, fixes and questions are welcome.