My First Week of Hacktoberfest

My First Week of Hacktoberfest


4 min read

It's the end of the first week of my first time as an official Hacktoberfest participant!

There have been many ups and downs this week, and I thought I'd summarize them here so that others can see what the experience of a first-timer is like.

So without further adieu, let's go back to Monday and my first (FAILED ๐Ÿ˜…) attempt at a pull request for Hacktoberfest!

Lesson Learned

I've forked projects before on GitHub, but I wanted to brush up on my skills before October came around so that I could be extra prepared for Hacktoberfest. But as it so often happens, September got away from me. Still, I was excited to create my first PR on a pretty simple project. I chose to make some edits to a README file for a Memory Card game built in JavaScript. Sounds easy, right? For my first project, I didn't want to commit to too much, plus I already felt confident working with Markdown and HTML, both of which I'd need for the edits.

I worked on the file, committed my changes, and made my pull request within the span of 30 minutes. I was feeling pretty confident until I loaded up my Hacktoberfest profile page and saw this...

project not participating.png

Yep, as it turns out, I had totally missed merging the changes from my fork into the main project branch. No wonder it says Project not participating!

Luckily, I was able to quickly rectify this but it was a humbling experience for sure. I started to majorly doubt myself. Maybe I wasn't cut out for Hacktoberfest after all? After a pep talk from a family member, I spent that evening reading everything I could find on making top-notch pull requests so that I could feel more confident going forward.

ReadMe.pngThe README file I worked on for my first successful pull request.

Trying Something New

As a Unity game developer, I knew there wasn't going to be a lot out there that utilized the skills I had. I do know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript fairly well, but they're definitely not the languages I feel most comfortable using.

I am very familiar with C#, but only in the context of Unity. So I challenged myself to find a C# project where I could use the language I knew best, but in the context of a console app.

I stumbled across the perfect project on my second day of Hacktoberfest. This was a repo of command-line games built in various languages such as C, C++ and Python. There was no C# category on the repo yet, but the guidelines encouraged contributors to add new categories as they saw fit. I forked the project and got to work building my very first console app using C#.

After reading a few different tutorials, I realized that a lot of my coding knowledge from Unity would transfer pretty seamlessly to my app. I decided to use some game logic I had learned from a beginner project in a course by (PS. I highly recommend this learning platform if you are interested in learning game development).

Commandline game.pngThe C# command-line game I wrote for my second pull request.

It took a couple days of on and off work, but I finished and submitted my console app last night. Success! While I was working on this one, I'd also begun contributing some NPC quotes to a large database for another Unity game. So pull request #3 was already well in hand.

quotes.pngA library of NPC quotes I contributed to for my third pull request. Can anyone guess which game I took these quotes from? ๐Ÿ˜€

This morning, I woke up to find that all three of my successful pull requests were now in the 'maturing' period. And I think I already have my next project lined up for pull request #4...

Unity games galore

As it turns out, I was able to find a few high-quality Unity games to contribute to for Hacktoberfest, and I couldn't be happier. I'm currently working on adding a level to a mobile ball launcher game and a start screen to an Angry Bird clone. These pull requests will be a little more time intensive so I won't be able to finish them until the weekend or early next week. But I'm excited to be able to dive in and work on contributing to a game using the platform I love most: Unity.

Flappy Bird.pngA 2D Unity game I'm hoping to contribute to for my fourth pull request!

Now it's your turn: tell me about your first week doing Hacktoberfest! What projects did you work on? Any lessons learned?

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