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DPS 909 - Lab 3 - Hacktoberfest, and the Very Scary Repository

It's that time of year; the mornings are getting chilly, the leaves are turning, the pumpkin spice is flowing, and open source developers are getting all worked up over something called Hacktoberfest. Not to be confused with the other, similar-sounding (though arguably no less beer-filled) celebration, Hacktoberfest is a chance for open source enthusiast to truly flex their projects and contributions. Hosted by DigitalOcean, Hacktoberfest 2019 is an event running throughout the month of October that encourages activity in the open source community. It is completely free to sign up, and participants can even link their Github accounts to use as their Hacktoberfest profiles. As you may have already guessed, I will be participating in this event as my next major milestone on my journey into the world of open source.

Through the miracle of APIs, even my profile picture was imported!
While the prospect of diving headfirst into such a large, open source event as a beginner may sound daunting, don't be afraid! There are no ghosts or ghouls lurking in the depths of the open source world (though there is an ample amount of bugs and dead repos). In fact, Hacktoberfest very much encourages open source newbies to participate - I should know, I am one myself! There are many resource for a beginner to get started, and the one that I am using is Up For Grabs. Up For Grabs is a small, clever web application that allows prospective contributors to search for high-profile Github projects using tags. Using their search, you can sort projects by labels (e.g. beginner, bite-sized, help-needed) and also tags (say, you only want to look for C# projects... no problem!). It is a very handy tool, and I've managed to narrow down a few issues that have grabbed my interest:
When attempting to make headway into any new ventures, it's important to set goals for yourself. My goals for Hacktoberfest, aside from wading ever-deeper into the open sea (heh), are as follows:
  1. Contribute to something I'm confident in, because it's important to start strong!
  2. Contribute to something that uses technology I want to improve in, because the goal is always to keeping learning!
  3. Contribute to something that just seems like fun, because nobody is asking you to contribute, you have to want to do it!
With beginner-friendly resources in hand and the above goals in mind, I'm all set to get hacking. Can't wait to get started!

(Protip: It totally helps productivity to code while wearing a costume.)


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