The 5th annual Hacktoberfest

#Hacktoberfest 2018 – a fun way to encourage Open Source contributions!

This post was most recently updated on August 31st, 2022.

3 min read.

This post is about the Hacktoberfest event in 2018. I contributed to Microsoft’s repositories and a couple of other ones – and it was a lot of fun!

Wow – I’m quite behind on this post, but thought it’s worthwhile to give credit where credit is due. Even if that credit comes woefully slowly!

In 2018, Microsoft took part in DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest-challenge. Designed to encourage Open Source -contributions in a playful and gamified manner (in addition to being a lighthearted marketing campaign, of course), it’s a great way for organizations to encourage contributions to their repositories and projects. In the challenge, participants are required (well, encouraged, since it’s all voluntary) to submit pull requests to qualifying open source repositories.

This was also the first year I took part in the challenge. The challenge was interesting in general, but especially so since Microsoft was part of it.

DigitalOcean’s challenge was to submit 5 pull requests. Microsoft only required 1, but it had to be to a Microsoft repository.

Since I hadn’t really used GitHub for anything else than a couple of private repos before, learning the workflow for working publicly took me a while. But the challenge was quite motivating and I had a chance to submit some of the enhancements I had already been thinking about – and it was a lot of fun!

Microsoft has a ton of interesting open-source projects going on. The ones that are the most relevant to my daily life are the PnP repositories – PowerShell and Sites-Core especially. So these were natural candidates for my pull requests!


I ended up contributing to a few different repositories!

My pull requests to different repositories in Hacktoberfest 2018:

  • 1 pull request to MicrosoftDocs/office-docs-powershell
    • SharePoint Online PowerShell documentation – there are a lot of small improvements to make. I improved a couple of more weird parts of the docs :)
  • 1 pull request to Azure/azure-docs-powershell-azuread
    • Same deal.
  • 1 pull request Chrome SP Editor
    • Small but nifty new feature: reindex spweb :)
  • 2 pull requests to SharePoint/PnP-Sites-Core
    • Bug fixes! There are always bugs to fix.
  • 1 pull request to SharePoint/PnP-Tools
    • I improved the modernify/groupify script to remove the need to tweak hardcoded values and made them parameters instead!

Quite a fun way to encourage Open source contributions! At least for me, each contribution is always easier than the last one!

What a friendly community! This one is from the pull request to SharePoint/PnP-Tools repository.
What a friendly community! This one is from the pull request to SharePoint/PnP-Tools repository.

Now, I’m just waiting to get my hands on the awesome t-shirts from both respective companies… 😎


Is “postface” a thing? Let’s make it a thing! Anyway…

I really like the direction Microsoft is heading in general. Embracing open source instead of strangling it with patents and horrible standards is a welcome change from this huge and hugely resourceful company. And I believe that in the long run, it’ll benefit not only Microsoft’s ecosystem, but the whole field, and why not humanity on the whole as well?

Additional transparency will also make the giant held accountable for their actions in the industry more easily – a grand difference between some key competitors like Amazon and Apple, even Google nowadays (although, Google does have major open source contributions)!

Then again, the fact that Microsoft makes money from licenses and subscriptions, not ads and infringements on personal privacy, is a huge bonus at least for me personally, whenever I feel like re-evaluating my decision to dedicate a lot of my time professionally to Microsoft’s ecosystem and tools.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with the challenge, despite cutting it a bit close. I’ll try to make more time next year! :)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments