Hacktoberfest is a month-long event that promotes open-source contributions, collaboration, and projects.

Participating in this event as either a project maintainer or a contributor gives new perspectives to either your project or your career. You also get to meet fun people.

This article will walk you through how to become a great, successful project maintainer.

Project Preparation

Ensuring that your project meets the guidelines of the Hacktoberfest team and is easy for your contributors to contribute to is essential.

You need to define the goals you want to achieve during the event. It would be helpful if you jot it down on a post-it note.

Your goal might be to draw more attention to your project or to give new contributors a safe place to make small changes that would help their careers.

README Files and Contribution Guidelines

Documentation is a huge part of your project preparation. But before you document, you need to define your goals for the project.

Your documentation should be focused on helping new contributors get started.

Create a good README file that explains your project’s usage, how to set it up, and how to contribute.

Besides having a README file, your projects should also have guidelines that new contributors need to follow.

Create a clear guide on how contributors can get involved in your project and what kinds of contributions they can make, and outline the coding standards or guidelines for the project.

Licensing and Code of Conduct

Before anyone can contribute to your project, ensure it has an open-source license. The license is there to protect you and your contributors.

An open-source project without the proper licensing file could sue contributors for copy and paste and patent rights infringement. To avoid this, select an open-source license that aligns with your project's goals.

Next, you would need to define a code of conduct to ensure that during the Hacktoberfest event, the contributors are respectful of others and inclusive.

Project’s GitHub Repository

Hacktoberfest projects are usually on GitHub. Setting up a Git repository should get you started.

If you have an account, ensure the repository is up to date. If you don’t have an account, create one.

Make sure your project’s source code and documentation are on the Git repository.

According to Hacktoberfest guidelines, add the "hacktoberfest" topic to your repository to opt-in to Hacktoberfest and indicate you’re looking for contributions.

Setting Up Issues

Issues are like a To-do list for your contributors. They can use it to track the bugs, features, or upgrades they need to get involved in.

Setting up an issue template helps your contributors to propose changes to your project.

Promoting Your Project

Once you are done setting up your project and its guidelines, you need to promote your project to reach the target audience.

This is where you use social media platforms like Twitter (X), Facebook, Reddit, and  LinkedIn  to reach a wider audience of people.

You would need compelling project descriptions that engage contributors to get involved.

If possible, consider hosting a Twitter space or webinar to talk about your projects, the solution to a real-world problem, and how contributors to get started.

Contributor Engagements

Once the event begins and you get contributors working on issues, you would need to engage your contributors by doing the following:

  • Review and merge Pull Requests. Ensure you only merge valuable contributions.
  • Give clear feedback to your contributors to improve their work.
  • Appreciate your contributors. You can do this by either doing a shout-out on social media or sending thank you messages.
  • Ensure they remember the code of conduct and let them know the consequences of violating the conduct.

You can also create a GitHub discussion platform where you get to interact with the project contributors. This way you can easily manage the contribution during the event time period.


This guide walked through the needed steps for project maintainers to make the most of the Hacktoberfest event.

By joining as a maintainer, you get the opportunity to meet people, get new ideas, and grow your project. These collaborations or contributions could make a long-lasting impact to your project.

Preparing your project, engaging with your project’s contributors, staying committed to your goals, and creating an inclusive space for all contributions could enhance your project.

Besides being a maintainer, embrace the spirit of open-source and collaboration and have fun during the event.