· 3 min read

Creating your First Valid PR for Hacktoberfest 2023

A guide and some useful resources to get started with Hacktoberfest 2023

A guide and some useful resources to get started with Hacktoberfest 2023

Starting from September 26th you can register for the event. There will be a button on the official website and you can connect with your GitHub or GitLab account.

Why do you need to sign up?

The Hacktoberfest challenge consists of completing at least 4 valid Pull Requests on GitHub (or Merge Request on GitLab) and by signing up you can begin your quest and see the progress live, starting from the first of October.

I recorded a video where we can see together two main aspects:

  • How to create your first pull request on GitHub
  • What are the rules to make sure your PR is valid for the Hacktoberfest challenge

You can find here a quick guide, in case you don’t have time to watch the full content on the video.

How to create your first pull request on GitHub

The only requirement is to have a GitHub account, if you already created one to sign up for Hacktoberfest, you’re good to go.

These are the basic steps, I will also link other resources I already made in case you need more details on a specific step.

  1. Find a repository you want to contribute to
  2. Fork the repository
  3. Clone the forked repository on your computer
  4. Create a new branch
  5. Do the changes, commit and push
  6. Head over the original repository and create a Pull Request (there will be a yellow banner on top of the page)

What makes a PR valid for Hacktoberfest?

To begin with, it has to be merged, so please patiently wait for the maintainers to review it and give you feedback. Don’t forget that it’s not a race, take your time, the maintainers of the project might take a few hours or even some days to get back to you and that’s totally fine.

In most active project you’ll probably get an answer quite soon, but if you have to wait, that’s part of journey.

But, back to our rules! They’re all listed on the official website and they’re pretty straightforward.

I would say we can summarize them in one sentence:

Your PR should add value to the project that is on a public repository participating in Hacktoberfest.

As long as you’re not submitting spammy PRs, you should be fine.

The only requirement which might deserve a bit more attention is to make sure the repository is in fact participating, and you can see that easily if it has the Hacktoberfest topic or if the maintainers are using the hacktoberfest-accepted label.

If the project is not participating… well, you can contribute regardless! The PR won’t be counted for the challenge, but it’s still one more contribution to your open source journey.

Verification period

The last bit of information you need to know is that PRs once verified will be valid only after a 7 days countdown that you can see updating real time on the hacktoberfest page, and this is pretty much to make sure the PR is not spam.


And that was it! You know know all the basics you need to get started with Hacktoberfest.

Just as a reminder, this year there will not be any physical rewards (like tshirts), but you will receive some digital badges and a tree will be planted in your name.

I talk about that in this video here:

About the author

Hello! My name is Leonardo and as you might have noticed, I like to talk about Web Development and Open Source!

I use GitHub every day and my favourite editor is Visual Studio Code... this might influence a little bit my conent! :D

If you like what I do, you should have a look at my YouTube Channel!

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