HacktoberFest 2019 Vadodara – Open Hack Day

What is Open-Source?

What first comes to your brain and tickle your senses when you first hear the word “Open-Source software or technology”? Well, many of you might have thought of it as something that is available for free and would’ve thought of Linux OS and you are not wrong at all, but you’re not completely true either! Well, that’s just a very small part of it and it has a much broader scope than that.

So, basically, an Open-source software shares some similarities with free software (but is not similar) and is part of the broader term free and open-source software.

Open-source software (OSS) is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. It may be developed in a collaborative public manner. It is a prominent example of open collaboration. Open-source software development can bring in diverse perspectives beyond those of a single company.

There are a lot of Open-Source softwares out there like Android, Ubuntu, Linux Kernel, FreeBSD, Fedora and also there are many Open-Source projects like Hyperledger, Mozilla’s Common Voice (If you want to know about it, then I have written a blog on that as well which you can visit by clicking on the link), Automotive Grade Linux, Google Brain etcetera…

And now, as we have done enough talking about Open-Source, let’s talk about HacktoberFest! So, what is HacktoberFest and why did we talk ’bout Open-Source while the blog is on HacktoberFest?!

Hacktoberfest is a month-long virtual festival to motivate people to get started with contributing to Open-Source projects presented by Digital Ocean and DEV, for beginners and veterans alike. So, to sum it up in a line: It is a program where you can easily win a limited edition HacktoberFest T-shirt just by making 4 Pull-Requests in the month of October to any Open-Source projects on GitHub (yay!).

Now, my journey as a developer and a contributor started with HacktoberFest exactly one year ago when I participated in this festival and back then, I swear that I participated just for the T-shirt! But then, I started exploring this beautiful world of Open-Source, also it felt very easy as for a beginner to contribute and to work on Git and GitHub, I really fell for it and that’s how it all began!

So this year, I wanted the same thing to happen, not to me but to all those other out there, who are really interested in coding, designing, developing but couldn’t get any chance to get started with. Hence, for the same, I thought that there cannot be any other better platform to start one’s journey as a contributor than HacktoberFest as it is great for a newbie to get the hang of contributing to Open-Source projects by running around some cool Repositories and finding one’s own forte to contribute in.

So, I came up with this idea of organizing a HacktoberFest at my college about which I discussed in our community group of Mozilla Gujarat which we call MozFam! And they all loved it. Also, one of my fellow community members Devansh Gajjar who too wanted to organize the same event at his university. To which our other community members replied that it’d be even great if both of us would collaborate (like we do it on Open-Source projects, lol) and do this event together and that too keeping it open for all the other citizens than just keeping it to your own colleges which we really just loved the idea and started with our prep! Also, we thought of to target mostly the beginners and to invite them to this event so that they can start from ground-zero and can begin with their first contributions.

So, then finally came the day!

And after all the planning and rush, the day we all were waiting for arrived and man, it was amazeballs!

We started our day with a keynote which was delivered by our very own community member Harsh Mehta who introduced the attendees with HacktoberFest, how does community works and how it helps in solving some daily problems faced by all of us.

Harsh Mehta on stage delivering the keynote.

Then we continued further and Vishwa Mehta took upon the stage, sparked up the energy among participants and warmed them up with a fun activity.

Everyone enjoying the 10-squat activity.

Then she continued with her talk on Open-Source, various Open-Source technologies, projects and how one can contribute to them.

Vishwa on stage sharing her insights on Open-Source technologies and how can one contribute to them.

Sahil Sen who’s a GitHub Campus Expert shared the stage with Vishwa. He shared various programs provided by GitHub like GitHub Student Developer Pack, GitHub Campus Expert program for all the students, GitHub Campus Advisors for all the teachers and how can these programs help everyone to learn new technologies.

Sahil explaining all the other participants about his journey with memes, because what else is relatable, eh? 😉

It was just the beginning and we had gone through just the first 2 sessions of the day but the attendees were really enthusiastic and interactive and were ready to take away some knowledge along with the cool schwag.

Then, Devansh Gajjar mesmerized the attendees with his talk as soothing as his designs on UI/UX. He started with “If not coding then what?!” and continued that it’s not always necessary to be a coder because there’s a lot more to contribute than that. One can be a Graphic designer, UI/UX Designer or can create animations. Then he carried on with what is UI/UX, why is it important in today’s times as everyone is looking for a beautiful, minimal, eye-catching interface while keeping the best user-experience in mind too. He explained how to make some cool designs, how to select a perfect color-scheme and also shared what details to keep in mind while making a pleasing design. He further talked about his talk on AI in Architecture that he will be delivering at MozFest 2019, London and attendees simply loved it. They were interacting constantly asking him questions as they were eager to know about UI/UX and Graphic Designing and also a few questions regarding his talk at MozFest.

Devansh Gajjar sharing his experience as a UI/UX Designer.

Then, it was time for me to engage with the participants and so I walked up on to the stage to give my talk on GitHub. I, once again, talked about what is HacktoberFest, why we celebrate it and why will we be talking about GitHub while the event is about HacktoberFest! Then I started with what is GitHub, why we use it, explained to them the meaning of “H” in the GitHub and introduced them to the lovely Monalisa – the Octocat, the mascot of GitHub. Then I explained the difference between Git (which is a distributed version control system for tracking changes in source code during software development. It is designed for coordinating work among programmers, but it can be used to track changes in any set of files. Its goals include speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows) and GitHub (which is an American company that provides hosting for software development version control using Git. It is a subsidiary of Microsoft) which every beginner makes a mistake and interprets them both to be the same. Then I explained to them some terminologies that we use like fork, clone, issues, Pull-Request, Commit, Merge Conflict etcetera… Then we carried out a hands-on session to get the attendees a hang of the GitHub’s UI which is very simple, user-friendly and easy to get used to and all the participants really worked it out well. It didn’t even seem that they were using it for the first time which the majority of them were!

That’s me on stage explaining the attendees about how to work on GitHub!

Then after 4 heavy sessions, we all were quite weary, hungry and parched. So, what else could be great than some burgers and soda! We had a break time and during that, it was really nice to see that almost all the attendees weren’t just enjoying the snacks, but rather they were also networking around!

Hey yo, the food’s here!

After a satisfying lunch break, we thought that the participants would rather be dizzy but to our surprise, they all were rather more enthusiastic about Devansh’s next session on version controlling using Git CLI. Devansh once again took the control of the stage and the audience and resumed the event from where we halted. He then, explained to the participants what is Git, why we use Git for version-controlling on GitHub and started with working on some demo repositories using the commands on Git. Attendees were really falling in love knowing how fast and easy using Git with GitHub is.

Devansh explaining that working on Git is even faster than his hand in this pic, lol.

And then as all the learning was done, the participants were ready for some hacking time and to generate some Pull-Requests. We had a competition where whoever generates the maximum number of Pull-Requests in 1 hour will get some cool schwag. So, everyone was excited for the HACK TIME!

Here are some stills in which the attendees are being mentored during the hack time…

TIME’S UP! So, it was a very well one-hour of contributing and hacking time in which, to our surprise, participants generated a lot of PRs and yeah, it was a tough decision to choose the winner as there were two participants who tied-up as they generated equal amount of Pull-Requests and so, we declared both of them as the winners!

So, each of them got a cute little Sammy – the Shark (DigitalOcean’s mascot) stress ball, great innit?!

After that, we had a quiz on Kahoot! which was hosted by me and all the participants did really enjoy that as the quiz was full of tricky questions. The participants gave a tough fight to each other to climb to the top of the hill.

Kahoot! Time

The top-3 contenders were given some cool HacktoberFest 2019 schwag including HacktoberFest 2019 badge, Sammy Enamel Pin and the winner was also awarded a previous year’s HacktoberFest t-shirt!

And then, as we approached the end of the event, we had a networking session where all the participants met and greeted each other, shared their knowledge and exchanged some thoughts regarding different technologies. Everyone seemed happy as everyone enjoyed the event and that was really a satisfactory moment for me and Devansh as we concluded HacktoberFest 2019 Vadodara Open Hack Day successfully!

Also, we collected some testimonials from a few of our participants which I’d like to share with you all in this blog.

Also, two of our other participants shared their review of the event…

And also, one of our participants who came from a different city to attend our event shared his love for the event and described that how he liked learning and exploring new technologies and how all the mentoring and guidance helped him!

So, that was all for the HacktoberFest 2019 Vadodara – Open Hack Day. It was a great fun organizing one of the best events which will also always be one of the closest events to my heart as it is a very good platform for your very first Open-Source contributions, to get started with learning, exploring and contributing to some cool technologies.

Also, I’d really love to thank Harshil Agrawal, Pratik Parmar, Arpan Patel, and Pranshu Khanna for the constant support and providing us with all the necessary resources and help whenever needed. Also, I’d like to thank our venue partner Navrachana University, its faculties, and officials for providing us with the required facilities to conduct this event without which it wouldn’t have been this big of a success. Thanks a lot to GitHub especially for the f&b sponsorship and providing us with some cool schwag, cheatsheet, and markdown. And last but not least, thanks to all the participants for spending your Sunday with us learning, as we know that it was a weekend and everyone is in a holiday mood but to our surprise you guys really were excited and enthusiastic and that made our day, it was really glad to have you all as our audience and without you folks, it wouldn’t have happened. So, thanks to everyone once again!

Apart from that, it was great contributing this year to HacktoberFest 2019 and am looking forward to the next year. Till then, keep contributing and keep sharing your love towards Open-Source. Peace ✌️ .

HacktoberFest 2019 Vadodara – Open Hack Day set twitter on fire and below given are some tweets:






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