Ahoy Hacktoberfest 2019!

October 01, 2019
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It's October 1, 2019 and that means Hacktoberfest 2019 has officially started! Over the next month, people from around the world are taking time to contribute to open-source projects. The world of open source has become such an elementary part of the software we all write day-to-day and the things we create! It allows us to share and collaborate with each other. At Twilio we believe in the power of developers and are excited to take part in Hacktoberfest in various ways both online and in-person.

Here are a few things you'll want to keep an eye on if you are as excited about Hacktoberfest as we are!

Learn how to create your first open-source contribution

Creating your first contribution to the world of open source can be intimidating. We get it. It wasn't any different for us. But we wanted to see if we can make it a bit less scary for you. So we sat down and came up with two things that will hopefully help you with your first steps into the world of open source.


Logo with colorful pixels and a pixelated text reading "Open Pixel Art by Twilio"


Contributing to an open-source project involves various aspects but the two big ones are communicating with the project and then creating the actual contribution using git and GitHub. We wanted to help you with the second aspect of it. The result is the Open Pixel Art project, hosted at github.com/twilio-labs/open-pixel-art.

The Open Pixel Art project is a project created specifically with the purpose of showing you how to create a pull request. It's a project where you can contribute a pixel with your favorite color to a canvas. If you already feel comfortable with git and GitHub, you can head straight to the Contributing Guide of the project to start your contribution.

Screenshot of the TwilioQuest mission title "Contributing to Open Source" with a "Launch Mission" button

If you are new to git or GitHub, or just want to learn in a fun way how to create a contribution, we also created a mission inside our TwilioQuest game that will guide you step by step through your personal quest of joining the world of open source! Head over to twil.io/hacktoberfest-quest and download the game and you'll see a mission called "Contributing to Open Source" that will guide you step by step through contributing to the Open Pixel Art project.

Screenshot of TwilioQuest mission with a maze the character walking through a maze

Check out this blog post for more information on the project.

Meet and work with others on open-source projects

Hacktoberfest is not an event that is just happening online. fact there are meetups all around the world throughout October focusing on helping you contribute to open source and meet others with similar interests.

In London we partnered with the folks of Underland Events and Pusher to set up a series of events throughout the month of October. With the first one kicking off today at the Twilio London office. You can find the full list of events at https://2019.hacktoberfestldn.com/ or by following https://twitter.com/hacktoldn.

In San Francisco we'll be hosting a Hacktoberfest event together with the people at Mixmax on October 7th at their office. You can register for the event at https://hacktoberfesthackdaysf.splashthat.com/.

If you are based in Denver, why not pop by our Hacktoberfest event in the Twilio Sendgrid office on October 17th. You can RSVP at https://www.meetup.com/Write-the-Docs-Boulder-Denver/events/265316110/.

And on October 20th, we are hosting a Hacktoberfest event in Los Angeles, CA. Check out the event's Eventbrite page for more details and how to register.

From maintainers for maintainers

Open source maintainers are a crucial part of the open source ecosystem. Without maintainers there would be no contributors, or projects.

There are lots of things to consider when creating and maintaining an open-source project or a community around open source. Often the knowledge is either shared from person to person or not at all. We want to help change that and as a result we partnered with maintainers of open-source projects and communities of various sizes to share some of their knowledge.

Over the course of October we'll be publishing every Wednesday a new guest blog post from members of the community sharing their learnings on how to create and maintain welcoming open-source communities.

As they come live you'll be able to find them all on the Twilio blog.

Contributing to Twilio projects

At Twilio we host a variety of projects across various GitHub organizations. But the nature of some of those projects makes it harder for them to accept contributions from the community. We are constantly looking for ways to collaborate with the community as much as we can. To make it easier for you to spot the projects that would love to collaborate with you, we created Twilio Labs.

Screenshot of github.com/twilio-labs

Any project you'll find on github.com/twilio-labs is an open-source project welcoming contributions. And a variety of the projects have created issues and tagged them with hacktoberfest for you to better find them. But even if a project doesn't have an open issue for something you found or would like to suggest as a contribution, feel free to create an issue and let's chat about it! We love hearing from you.

What about swag?

As much as Hacktoberfest is about contributing to open-source, we also know that a lot of you love swag. So we put together a little sticker package for all of you to say thank you. As long as you have one pull request merged into any project on github.com/twilio-labs (yes this includes the Open Pixel Art project) between October 1st and November 1st, and you filled out this form before November 15th, we'll be sending you a collection of stickers.

Photo of various Twilio stickers on a table with the outline of another sticker and a question mark on top of it

And if you contribute two or more pull requests to any project on github.com/twilio-labs, we'll send you a special pair of Twilio socks as well!

Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that we'll be able to send you swag outside of the USA, Canada or Europe. Please fill out the form regardless, we'll be reaching out to you to let you know if we can send you swag.

We can't wait to see what you contribute!

Whether this is your first or hundredth open-source contribution, we are excited to be part of your journey. And remember, a contribution doesn't always have to be about code, some of the most valuable contributions to a project are often not code related.

If you have any questions about anything in this blog post or as you embark on your open-source quest, feel free to reach out!