Change Blogging my first Hacktoberfest (2021)

Donia Chaiehloudj
3 min readOct 29, 2021

How I discovered the vast open source world thanks to the Hackoberfest.

Three weeks ago, while going through the last posts on Hashnode, I landed on Beginners’s guide to Hacktoberfest 2021 post from Ayushi Rawat.

Hacktoberfest, in its 8th year, is a month-long celebration of open source software run by DigitalOcean. During the month of October, we invite you to join open-source software enthusiasts, beginners, and the developer community by contributing to open-source projects.

My fears

I have several years of development experience now but I never overcome this fear of participating in an open source project. I was worried about having my code not qualitative enough and judged by software gurus. What a shame ?! I found Hacktoberfest a great challenge to put a foot in the door.

Following the tutorial step by step, I searched for candidates issues/projects, here is the filter used. Golang is the language I am quite proficient at, this filter associated with a good-first-issue label seemed to do the job pretty well since it returned a plethora of issues. Hacktoberfest provides a list of all participating projects per language, Go Repositories.

My contributions

I found this little size project named Kidle, a Kubernetes operator to idle or wakeup resources with a good-first-issue! After posting my first comment saying I was interested, the stress invaded my body. Nicolas, the maintainer was asking for my opinion (Am I legitimate to have an opinion on your tool ?). I take my time to search, check the code and give what I assumed the best answers I could give at this point.

Discussing with Nicolas was great, after a few comments, I felt I was already learning new things: suggestions display, check related projects, github discussions conventions, acronyms. After agreeing on the scope of the issue, the fun began: let’s code! For the record, it took me three weeks to test and push a final pull request.

The day after, I talked about the Hacktoberfest to Salvador (architect colleague and my technical/career unofficial mentor). He is known for contributing to revive a Golang linter. We decided that I could contribute by solving these 3 issues (2 new rules and add a docker image to the release).

Since this moment, I have been coding every available hour I had. It felt so reviving to spend time coding on new projects, rewarding to solve issues for people actually using the tool. Here are all my contributions.

Contributions on my Hacktoberfest profile

Now, my 4PRs are submitted and approved, I am waiting for the 15 days maturation to finish the challenge! A special thanks for the Hacktoberfest, Salvador and Nicolas for guiding me in the mysterious and beautiful open source world. I will definitely not leave it, it is now part of my tech routine.


  • Don’t be afraid, open source is about helping and not judging
  • Agree on the scope with maintainers before pushing any pull requests
  • Start with small and easy changes
  • It is not only October but all year long



Donia Chaiehloudj

Golang software engineer and tech event organiser! When AFK you can find me swing dancing, sewing or hiking.