If you’re an open source maintainer, it’s time to get your repository ready for Hacktoberfest.


Communities grow during Hacktoberfest. Just ask Peter Tseng, now a core contributor of Exercism, which he found during Hacktoberfest. He said, “[it] was my first time being an open source maintainer (not counting projects in which I’m the only contributor)… I’ve learned a lot about working with others from that.”

Home Assistant also received almost 250 pull requests last year. That’s significant impact for one repository—not to mention the 92,259 other PRs that were opened across 29,287 other repositories.

How to get started

Below are a few highlights from our Open Source Guides to help get you set up.

1. Run some maintenance on your documentation

Remove barriers from anyone who wants to get started quickly and add some clarity so that their contributions meet expectations.

  • Add a README that helps people understand why your project matters and what your users can do with it. See an example template.
  • Encourage contributions by including a CONTRIBUTING.md file that explains your expectations for a submission and how to best participate in your project. Try this template, for example.
  • Identify the ground rules for contributor behavior, and facilitate a healthy and constructive community by adding a Code of Conduct, for example the Contributor Covenant.
  • Add a license to tell others what they can and can’t do with your source code. A lot of open source projects use choosealicense.com to confirm the best one for their project.
  • Provide an issue template that supports new contributions by outlining your expectations. Start with this example Template from Hoodie.

2. Increase your searchability

You want to make it easy for the right people with the right skills to find you, right?

  • If any and all community contributions are welcome, add #Hacktoberfest to your repository’s topics, located directly under your repository description.
    • Add more topics to the repository. You can do this for languages, project types (games, web design, app, etc), and other skills that appeal to broad ability sets.
  • Don’t forget to assign the Hacktoberfest label to any open Issues and PR’s that welcome community contributions after creation.

If you receive “spammy” pull requests, please let us know by applying the “invalid” label.

And that’s it! Happy Hacking. 🎃