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It’s Hacktoberfest Time!

Michelle Gienow
October 1st, 2020

It’s the first day of October, so you know what that means…it’s officially time for Hacktoberfest!

What is Hacktoberfest? A month long initiative, led by Digital Ocean, to encourage the growth of the global open source community through helping new contributors make their first project contributions. Everyone, from all backgrounds and skill levels, is invited to complete the same challenge: Contributors who open 5 or more pull requests on one or more open source project(s) can choose between a free t shirt or planting a tree.

Why spend Hacktoberfest with Gatsby

Gatsby’s open source community is one of the most active and amazing communities around, and we want you to be a part! Contributing to Gatsby means you can learn about Gatsby while choosing from a menu of carefully curated issues chosen and tagged specifically for Hacktoberfest. 

Our Hacktoberfest goals are:

  • To offer issues with a clearly defined scope and that require minimal background knowledge beyond what is contained in the issue description.
  • To make contributing to Gatsby as welcoming, friendly, and accessible as we can for new and (especially) first-time-ever open source contributors.
  • To offer labeled issues targeting many different facets of the Gatsby ecosystem (docs, core, Themes/Recipes, etc).
  • To appreciate everyone and anyone contributing their time and work toward making Gatsby, and the whole open source community, even better. On top of the official Hacktoberfest swag that contributors can earn, we’ve got special edition glow in the dark Gatsby stickers!


glow in the dark sticker with gatsby logo

How does it work?

  1. Register for Hacktoberfest at https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/.
  2. Head over to https://github.com/gatsbyjs/gatsby/issues, the main issues repository for Gatsby open source, and start shopping for an issue that interests you! Search with the Hacktoberfest tag to uncover all the “official” issues we have identified and scoped as especially good for new or first time contributors.
  3. After you’ve done the work, submit a pull request. We will work with you to get it merged.
  4. Once the PR is approved, make sure you fill in the Gatsby Hacktoberfest form to claim your swag. (No need to register with us beforehand, this is just how we make sure everyone gets their bonus sticker for participating).

What can I do?

Teams across Gatsby have identified open Gatsby Hacktoberfest issues, from docs to bug fixes to Themes and Recipes. We welcome everyone who wants to join in. However, issues tagged “Hacktoberfest” are specifically designed and written to be more accessible for first-time contributors. 

If you’ve a veteran open source contributor please dig into our repo and choose from any of the other issues — you don’t need to close out an issue labeled with “Hacktoberfest” specifically to earn Hacktoberfest cred! Just be sure to tag your PR with “Hacktoberfest” so we can keep count of participants.

Anyone who has submitted a PR during the month of October, whether Hacktoberfest tagged or not, can — once the PR is approved — fill in this form to claim your sticker.  First time contributors to Gatsby will also get a separate message from GitHub offering additional swag as our thank you for joining our awesome open source community.

Of course the Gatsby Contributor Code of Conduct is in full effect for Hacktoberfest: In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.


This will be my first pull request — what do I do??? When you open a PR on the Gatsbyjs repo, we’ll work with you to get it merged! The first step, though, is to make one. No worries: Digitalocean has super helpful videos and step-by-step “Your First Pull Request” tutorials to get you started. You can do this!

What if everything is claimed?  Don’t worry! More issues are being added regularly. And of course, in the meantime, feel free to browse among the other 500+ open issues in the queue.

How long will it take to get my PR merged? We aim to be as responsive and supportive as possible, but we are all also helping out with Hacktoberfest in addition to our usual tasks. It might be a day or two before we can catch up, but we are coming, just hang in there :).

Where do I go with questions?  

  • Issue specific: Reply to the umbrella issue pinned to the repo — ask questions directly on your issue if they’re related to what you’re working on.
  • General questions: For things like “What else can I work on?” or “Hey I have an idea for something that’s not tagged…” hitting up the @askGatsbyJS Twitter handle with the #Hacktoberfest hashtag is your friend.

Happy Hack(tober)ing! We are so happy you are here.

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Writes things @ GatsbyJS. Chaotic good frontend dev, caffeine addict, backyard chicken wrangler 🐓.

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