The end of September means we’re only days away from the annual Hacktoberfest event at GitHub, where people are encouraged to find open source projects to contribute commits to. What you may not know, is that you don’t need to be a developer to take part. To help out, we’re sharing our advice and resources to help anyone take part in their first project, regardless of if you’re a dev, designer, QA tester, technical writer, or otherwise.

Followup Resources

“It depends…” (7:56)

Hacktoberfest (20:19)


The following is a machine-generated transcript of this episode. It will contain errors until it has been reviewed and edited, and we apologize for the difficulty that may cause for screen readers. Do you want to help us speed up our transcribing process? Consider sponsoring an episode.

This is episode number 72. It’s the Drunken UX Guide To Hacktoberfest. Folks, Thanks for joining us. I’m your host, Michael Fienen.

I’m your other other host, Aaron Hill. I’m getting some, like, really Groundhog Day feelings, man. Hey, have you done this before?

Let me ask you a question. Do you have life insurance? Because if you do, you could always use a little more. Am I right or am I right? Right? Right, right. Uh huh. Nothing, nothing Beats a good inside joke. Alright. Yeah, Folks, if you’re enjoying the drunken UX podcast when we sure hope you are, go check out our great sponsors over at the live at Manning conference. Siri’s? That sounds familiar and it doesn’t sound like a Groundhog Day reference.

That’s because they just put on the Rust Conference that just wrapped up. And now they are preparing to do the women in Tech conference on October 13th from noon to 5 p.m. Now, this is awesome for a number of reasons. One is that if you’re not wanting to get out, but you still wanna learn some stuff, it’s livestreamed, so you can check it out on Twitch. You don’t have to go out and be around people.

You can wear your mask at home, I guess if you want to, you don’t have to because you’re at home, but it’s also free. So if you want to get a ticket for it, run by drunken you x dot com slash women in Tech and you can get a free ticket to that and back in the comfort of your home and learn a bunch of stuff. They’ve got a great big list of folks lined up to speak at it. They’re gonna be talking about careers and technology.

They’re gonna be talking about VR. They’re gonna be talking about engineAarong and chatbots, which I hate. But you know what? If they’re passionate about him, more power to them, that is super cool at any right drunken you x dot com slash women in tech. That’s w o m e n i n t e c h. So go check that out.

If you want to go check us out, we give you a bunch of ways. You can go do that. You can find us on Twitter or facebook slash drunken you X. If you want to catch us on instagram it slash drunken you x podcasts. Um, or if you want to just chat with us, we have this super exclusive way to get an invitation that’s available to anybody just by going to drunken you x dot com slash discord Did I get everything, Aaron?

I believe so. I think I’ve rehearsed this a few times now, So I should have gotten I

find that if I have to do something again, you know, like if I had to do it three times or more in one night, I have a hard time remembAarong because I feel like I’ve already done it.

Don’t same or that’s not a good way to jinx us.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m just speaking in hypotheticals. Just

hypothetically. If we had to have done this three times tonight. I’m just saying so long. If I was to have done this three times, I might be already a little more buzz than I had intended because I’m drinking Glenfiddich 14. Which may sound weird if you know anything about Scotch. It sound weird to me. When I saw it, it was in a bright blue tube, which caught my eye.

Well, that’s fun. Show me the bottle. It’s, uh oh, The tube is blue. The tube was

blue, but it’s got a nice little blue collar on it. Alright? Zulu. So it’s the Glenfiddich 14 bourbon barrel reserve, which I didn’t know existed to me. All scotches Bourbon barrel because Scotch is aged in bourbon barrels s. I was a little confused. I had to do some ah, hair, bit of research on it. So what it is, it turns out, is it’s aged 14 years in Kentucky bourbon barrels because Albert and comes from Kentucky, and then it’s finished in new oak.

Okay, the reason that makes it more interesting is normally I say, scotches aged in bourbon barrels. There’s this whole like circle of life with whiskeys, where bourbon is aged in new oak and then bourbon. Companies like Jack Daniels and and Jim Beam and all these other folks, uh, sell off their barrels overseas, usually the wineries and two Scotch distilleries, because scotch in particular to be scotch has to be aged in X bourbon casks.

Used ex-bourbon casks. Normally, this would just be a normal 14 year. Then what makes it special is this. Finish in new oak gives it that sort of brightness and sweetness that you get in bourbon. As a consequence, bourbons tend to be a little brighter, stronger On the vanilla front, there’s literally a chemical compound that comes out of oak called vanilla, that is named such because it gives it imparts a vanilla flavor there.

But you also get that sort of sharp tree fruity flavor. So we’re talking like apples, pears, apricots Is apricot a a tree? Fruit? I think it is.

I think it’s still a tree Fruit. Yeah, I’ve eaten them dehydrated before, but never fall.

Um, I do like it. It’s, um I think, distinctly better than the Glenfiddich 12. I would say it’s probably not as good as the Glenfiddich 18. I would say it’s better than 15. So I don’t have a bottle of 15 right now to directly sort of a B Compare it. But my memory with 15 is 15 is nice, but I like this sort of again, that sharp sweetness that comes out of this.

So if you’re looking for something a little different and you like a space side and you want something that’s just off the beaten path 14 Bourbon barrel reserve, that’s what I’ll be having tonight. I’ve

got a bottle of four roses. Bourbon. Oh, nice. And I’ve had a bit of it. And it’s mixed with Coca Cola. With second can off now at the beginning of the show.

Don’t worry. We we drink responsibly. We’re recording from home. We have water. Here is well, so

don’t worry about us. I have a designated driver to get me back upstairs.

Don’t. As long as you don’t write a Segway upstairs because I can tell you right now, Segways can hurt you. Yeah. Have a little experience

that once you’re done with your stuff, you have to tell us your story about that.

I’m not going to do that. I’ve had to explain to my chiropractor three times.

Um, I like four roses. Bourbon is like a nice, um, like it’s it’s not cheap, but it’s inexpensive for bourbon, like it’s a little cheaper than Jack and Jim, but it’s like it’s a bit smoother and it’s great for like I buy when I wanna buy. When I’m like, I want a bourbon that I could mix with something like whatever. Um, because it’s really good for that.

Because if I buy like nice Sipa ble bourbon like Basil Hayden or Angels envy the other ones have had before. I don’t like to mix those. I feel bad doing it because it’s so good on it. Yeah,

there’s that. There’s a reason why there aren’t a lot of Scotch cocktails out there. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, So they get things started here. I wanted the warm things up with a little article I read. I liked the title, Got me immediately. It said there’s a good reason why Experienced Dev’s say it depends so often it’s over. A change log dot com It was written by Jared Santo. Do go read it.

It’s very jam stack centric in terms of like what drives his rationale can you

remind us what jams stock is? So that’s

like javascript ap I mark up. So it’s this idea of having, you know, a purely rendered page that works client side with no need for server side technology. No databases, things like that Usually, um, the idea is like, you’re pages is fairly static, so it’s very quick and very fast and performance. Good article. I think it applies to developers. I think it applies to designers or UX people e think it applies to accountants.

I mean, you get this division of people, these layers of people And what made it funny to me? It was thinking about like your You have your junior Dev’s right, your new hires, your young Dev’s when somebody says, Hey, can you do this? Their immediate answer is usually yes or some variation thereof. They’re very gung ho. They’re very passionate. They’re very fearless to tackle a question that is posed to them. That’s not bad. It just is that you know,

you and I both were just like that. We were juniors e frankly, everyone was like that. We learned all this cool stuff and we just wanna like, use it and

and you learn a lot from the failures that come out of that. Quite frankly, you know, applying the wrong technology to a problem because you didn’t know better, like that teaches you a lot, right? Sometimes you get the older Debs. Let’s say I don’t like that phrase because it’s not about age. It’s more about complacency. That may be the right word. Yeah, settled. Stagnant is the better word.

Those folks, when they’re opposed with a unique challenge, tend to say no right now. Uh, think so. You want to do what? No. And we’ve all worked with that person or talk to that person or read a stack overflow answer written by that person that they they don’t evolve. They get to a point where they stop learning. And these were your folks, you know, 10 years ago, 12 years ago, that couldn’t get away from table based layouts or didn’t give up flash.

You know, they stuck to what they knew, and as a consequence, they they didn’t evolve beyond that. And so when they’re posed with that challenge, part of the reason they say no is simply out of fear. You know, they don’t because they don’t know themselves how to get beyond what they’ve done. Then you get the third person, which is who this article is basically about, which is, you know, let’s just call them the experienced developer.

And when posed with those questions, it’s always well, I mean, it depends. It could be easy. Or it could be hard. It could be done tomorrow, or I mean, it may take us a month. It depends. I think, that that answer comes very much out of that experience, triaging and dealing with people and understanding how requirements, impact scope and things like that. I

I’ve I’ve found, especially in the last few months. I found that sometimes clients and stakeholders don’t always realize when something is a big lift versus a small lift because it all seems like magic to them. Remember that X KDDI comic where it’s a person saying, like I’d like to know if someone takes a photo within this wildlife refuge on the person’s like, Okay, give me three hours and I could do a GPS look up on this And then they say,

I’d also like to know what the photo contains a bird and then the persons. The developer says, I’m going to do three years in a team of research scientists on the person asking it. Both requests seem equally complicated, and we know just from experience. Sometimes things are easy. Sometimes things were hard, and when things were hard, the people requesting it, they may not.

They may think that you are just so amazing. They can ask anything of you and you could just make it happen. And they may not realize that sometimes it’s actually hard to dio. So I like to ask. I like to ask How important is this to you? Because this sort of be a big lift

or or the classic is also like I say, You know, you get these stagnant. Just say no. There is a diplomatic and correct way to say no, there’s the No, but no, But we can get you 80% of the way there. No, but we could. For most other thing that’s very similar and to the user would be transparent. It’s about offAarong alternatives. It’s about not being a nabs struck Shin ist, basically helping to find solutions and solve problems.

The but is the key word to any of that? No, but is much different from no

right. I think that it’s important to remember that whatever your capacity is like, your job is to like, give your employer like, you know, the best possible service. And sometimes you gotta move things forwards, even if you know that like it’s gonna make things a little harder like progress has a cost to it.

The the article, As Jared writes, that gets into a lot of the technology component of it, like choosing technology to solve a problem. There’s a quote in it from Matt Mullen wig that I’ll read that I really enjoy because I think about Jam Stack in these terms. We just had last episode 71 Chris for Nandi and us talking about Vanilla Js and I really sort of e. I enjoyed the hell out of that. If you don’t know Chris listening.

That episode is a great introduction to him, and he’s very passionate about this idea of doing things simply and and and and what not? And the problem with things like Jam Stack is this brittleness that gets introduced with these technologies. What Matt said was, you can patch together a dozen services, each with its own accountant building for hundreds of dollars a month. T

o get a similar result, you’d have you’d have for a few dollars a month using WordPress on a shared hosting, and it would be more fragile because the chain is on Lee, a strong as the weakest link. You are chained together different tool sets, Loggins building hosting any part of it going down, Kenbrell the entire flow. That’s where the it depends comes in because people who say it depends understand collateral.

They understand. You know, uh, we were talking before the show as we were going through notes about you know, this idea of legacy code right when you’re in an environment with older systems, especially that you have to interface with knowing what may or may not break or how far you can push something is a huge it depends kind of moment. The idea always comes down to Can you do something right? Can you do X?

You can always do X, but, you know, code is, ah, marvelous thing. Like you were just saying right, the the AI question of Can you identify what’s in the image we have that ability. That’s a That is a thing we can do.

I’ve seen what you could do with AWS Lambda Services and honestly, detecting if the bird is in a picture isn’t as hard as it was. You know, when that exceed the comic was written. So when your when your clients or stakeholders like are asking magic of you e try to see it as a compliment. Like they think I’m a wizard and not like they’re asking me to do the impossible.

And it’s a matter of this combination, right of what is success and how efficiently can we achieve it, right? Especially in the business world, You know, every hour of my time is a certain amount of salary that costs the business money. And yes, I can go out. I’m not NML guy. We actually have an M l team at work that does incredible stuff.

The things they have built so far, um, are quite frankly, amazing, Andi, I know at a high level how it works like conceptually, I have no idea how it works from a code standpoint, But those efficiencies can I Could I learn it? Yes, I have the capacity to learn that. Is it efficient? At that point, it depends. How much money are we gonna make off of it? Right, So that that it depends comes out of that.

And so the reason I guess I wanted to throw this article out there, go read it, check it out and learn sort of that difference between enthusiastic. Yes, is stagnant knows or when you hear that developers sit up next to you and say, Well, it depends. It’s not always a good sign, but generally, I think, is a sign of somebody who is more thoughtful about their process, understands consequences and and things like that, and has an understanding of the things in orbit, so to speak.

Um, I like it depends. And that’s why I it rang so true to me because I use that phrase so much. The more I thought about it, I’m like I really I like people who say it depends because it means whatever is coming out of their mouth next is going to actually articulate the problem a little bit and what goes into solving it? I think it’s

important to just like there should always be some pushback I read this. I read this funny thing that their day about how in Japanese business rooms, I think I read this on Reddit. They have a position they call the angry American. Don’t know, being Yeah, I don’t know if it has to be an American, but the point is that this person is hired and their job is to tell the CEO that their idea is stupid and they shouldn’t do it.

And to be very loud and disrespectful so that the CEO has to. Then, like, has some resistance because the culturally the Japanese executives would defer to authority enough that there wouldn’t always be that pushback. Yeah, there.

So there’s a very cultural reason it’s a thing. But, you know, I I read that same article. Actually,

I I think it’s good. It’s good to ask why. It’s like, I think if you’re always saying yes, you’re going to get yourself in trouble. Um, I definitely have before just a

hair, because if you have Netflix, there’s ah, man. There’s a Siri’s and I forget what it’s called. Now it’s about video games. Oh, high score, high score, and they’re so good. One of their episodes is about Nintendo. Yeah, And about the guys who went to Nintendo and from America America and worked there. Uh, wasn’t Morimoto did she get my brother toe?

Yeah, that gets that’s like that is the like, the absolute nexus of the angry American walking into that room and them talking and having they had no clue like it wasn’t intentional or anything. They just had no idea of the cultural difference. And so the way they approach the problem shocked everybody, but it got the job done. So I think that’s I think that’s actually where that originates from. Yeah, I

could see that. If you haven’t seen the highest score Siri’s and you are around middle age or you’re a video game enthusiasts. You should definitely watch it. It is so cool.

Well, let me tell you something. Whether or not you’re gonna enjoy that depends. So if you’re listening to this on release day, and I hope you are, because that means you are a drunken UX super fan and I have nothing else to give you, except I guess saying you’re super fan E. Yeah. If you hit me on Twitter or something, we got some stickers and posters and I’ll send you some stickers. Just let me know

if you hit me up separately. I’ll also send you a sticker or closer, and then you can have two.

You’ll get double. Oh, my God.

Double the fun

if you’re listening. It is in theory September 28th, which is right before October. Which means it is We are right on the cusp of hacked Ober Fist. And we have talked about this. I’m pretty sure it has come up every season right about this time. Actually, it’s usually come up right about the middle of August or October rather each year, because I know because every time I’ve said I’m gonna actually finish it this year, my big problem has been that the projects I work on our whole private repose.

So I don’t get any credit for any of the PRS. The dozens and dozens and dozens of PR’s I issue over the course of a month. No credit. But though, um, Hacktoberfest is something put on between, I believe digital ocean is like one of the primary sponsors and get hub right like they do partner on that, I believe,

um, Digital ocean is the sponsor sponsor. It’s like a It’s like an affiliation with a hobby. Yeah,

and it’s done through. Get hub. Uh huh. This is, like one of those times. So what did Hub does is it’s their month every year. What, for the last 345 years? Somewhere in there?

Oh, man. Yeah, Least that I’ve got I’ve got three or four T shirts now.

No, I I commit stuff every month, I think Hayden

Open source Repo the last four years. So, like, it was easy

Thio your own reposes that cheating, right?

No, no. If it’s if it’s open source, it has to be a public repo, and it counts.

Well, now I’m just gonna cheat.

Well, I don’t I don’t know. I mean, it wasn’t on my own user name. I actually didn’t try that. It was on the ruby for good one. But, um, but any any public repo counts, though as far as I know,

um, this year so the way they’ve they’ve got to set up, you have to commit four pull requests. What we call pr’s, we’ll hear PR. It’s not public relations. Pull request. That’s ah, pull request is a thing that merges your code into theirs, and I know that most of you probably know that. But a lot of you may not. It’s really, you know, part of what it is. A. They’re trying to encourage support for open source.

They’re also trying to encourage, like first time commits from people and get new people into the. This idea of what we call a version control version controls the thing that lets us keep our code, you know, up to date so that, you know, over time it can change. But we have a record of it, and we don’t have toe worry about, like you know, what we call code collisions and things like that.

Really, let’s admit it is also a huge marketing scheme for them. Oh, yeah, it’s absolutely a marketing play, but it’s a very cool one, so I give them a pass on on that piece of it. But it is marketing, so I will acknowledge that just in case so that no angry comments come my way. So there’s a non article over on David up to from Corbyn Taylor. He talks about his experience last year like as a first time Hacktoberfest person.

So it’s cool if you wanna go read like his experience. He was a data scientist who wanted to get into programming and used Hacktoberfest is kind of ah, engine for that. There’s a quote that I really liked that he made, and I’m sure I’ve heard this somewhere else, but I can’t attribute it to anybody. Eso I’m gonna attribute it to Corbyn because he put it in bold coders are ultimately problem solvers. The reason I like that, Yeah, it’s like that.

It’s this idea that you know why Hack Tober Fest works is because all of us instinctually enjoy a challenge and helping people solve a problem. Mhm. And there’s a sort of hunger that comes with that. I think for those good Dev’s for those Dev’s that say it depends a lot, they’re the ones who really enjoy being said. Hey, how do we do this? Well, depends And then they go figure out. No. Well, no, we can’t do it that way.

But if we do these other things, we could get most of that work done. Yeah, I like that quote because of that, because I think it really embodies sort of that spirit of why hacked Ober fist exists and why it works. That spirit of going out and finding something to do because, you know, and Aaron, I’m gonna lean on you pretty heavily here that, you know, most resource way.

I’m, well, the best I can. Hey, one of us has got to do the work here. Most open source projects, I think are really happy to get help. Quite frankly, because again, most of those projects are very small, you know. Yes. In some cases, it’s one guy

I’ve got. I’ve got some recommendations for this that will talk about a little bit later in the show. But but yes, definitely. I would definitely agree with that way. We’re like me. We were ecstatic when I was a project waiting for diaper base. I just as an update for our listeners. If you’ve been following for a while, um, after four years, I turned over the baton to a new project lead for diaper base.

So I’m no longer officially the project lead. Um, but I still I’m participating in the project. I’m just not the lead anymore. Gave it just seemed like it was It just seemed like it was time. It’s so hard to walk away.

That was very mean. I know. I’m sorry. I know,

I know. You know how it is. Yeah, it was. It’s hard to walk away or to step down from that. But like it’s like Washington says in the I’m making all kinds of Hamilton quotes tonight in the one last time where he’s like, uh, it’s, you know, it’s good to step down and have the transfer of power because it shows that the thing is working and all that. I forget the exact words

one last time. I can’t sing. Um, that’s such a good song on and to your point, because I like I would say, diaper base is a small project. It’s not Jake weary. It’s not, You know it’s not. Yes, you’re on the roof. It’s small, but it’s the big by many comparisons.

It’s a successful small project. I would say that would be accurate, but

you also I think, fall into that category which many of these repose will, which is a. You are enthusiastically available to help people answer questions and support folks who are like, Hey, this is interesting to me I like this problem, but I’m having a little trouble understanding X. Can somebody point that if you have that, You know.

And we’ve emphasized this many, many times that mentorship the importance of mentorship in our field. There’s even on the smallest one man projects. Most of the time, they’re going to be so excited to have somebody contributing that they will help you in almost any way that you asked as long as you just ask.

I still remember the first. Um, it was the second year of diaper base. It was when we went multi tenant and during Ruby for good. We had a person who was not affiliated with Ruby for good. Put in a pool request for an issue. And holy shit, I like I was over the moon. It was amazing. That was the first time. And it was so cool.

Let me ask you this. Yeah, because I think this is like one of those things, too, because people I’ve got a I’ve got a little anecdote. I’ll tell later that will tie into this actual issue. There’s beer, I think, for especially people who are not used toe contributing to other projects there’s this fear of what you know, they don’t want my you know, my stuff.

I may not do it right or I may bring their stuff like there’s when you’re not used Thio opening up to people like that. I think there’s a hesitance to say I’m gonna make a PR for them and

totally I get that. That that

that’s why Hacked Ober Fist exists. And we’re gonna talk about how to find stuff that is very open for that. But I want to tell you a that fear is natural. It’s okay, Thio, you know, push against it and say, You know what? I’m gonna I’m gonna make this PR because the worst that could happen so I just don’t take it.

It’s still to be fair. It still counts. Even if they don’t accept your PR, you still get the credit for it with Hacktoberfest? Yeah, you don’t have to get emerged in order to get account for your towards your T shirt or your whatever you choose. I guess you’re doing trees planting this year.

But no, you It’s either you consume elect one or the other.

Okay, well, you don’t have to have it doesn’t have to be merged. Account is what I mean. But yeah, it’s Ah, I would say, speaking to that very specifically, I always try to update the Read me on the repo to specifically address Hack Tober fest like during that month of October.

Um, but if the issue is tagged with Hacktoberfest label and we’ll get into that in a little bit and more detail if it’s tagged with that, though, like you should feel totally comfortable making your contribution because that is an organization or user that is prepared to except Hacktoberfest contributions.

There’s a name. Help me because, unlike you, I’ve now had a fair amount of Scotch. Hey, you’re drinking whiskey? Um, where’s the proof of your scotch, man? I’m 43 about 40% alcohol, But I’m beating you. There’s a there’s ah, word, though, right? A name for this, where some repose will have like a like a commit policy

contributing dot MD. If you look at the contributing file, not all repos have the contributing file, like updated specifically for that repo, but it’s always good to look anyways. Yeah,

but that will help if you’re having hesitance. If you’re worried about making a commit that maybe won’t be accepted or isn’t valuable. You can look for that, and that will help you understand, because there’s some other stuff that could be involved. Maybe it’s running tests. Maybe it’s fallen certain code styles, and that can be intimidating. I’m not gonna lie.

But if they have that, if they have those rules, usually they will have some guidance in that document as to what goes into it or what you need to include in terms of your poor request. So I just want to say I understand. I do get it and I know that that can be intimidating and you don’t have the worry too much about that. Nobody’s going to get mad at you, so to speak. If they do, let Aaron and I know and we’ll set him straight. Let me

tell you the I It was a couple years ago for Hacked over Fist, and we had someone who put in a pool request that tagged issue number one an issue Number one was like some I don’t know, but it was like a Dev ops issue or something, and they updated. Read me dot MD and they had it. They just put, like, five words in it or something. And my response to that.

I mean, it was a bullshit pr straight up, but my response to them was like, Hey, um, this doesn’t actually solve the issue that was already closed, but you should go look at her other issues on to see if you could find one toe handle.

Which takes me to my last point on this. Yeah, just as important as trying to find a project and helping contribute everything is if you run projects, make sure you’re encouraging others. Because Hacktoberfest is all about the new people coming in and getting excited about your project and getting them, you know, encouraged and learning and tied him. Because if they get excited about that first PR, they’re much more likely to make mawr.

And if they’re doing that, they’re helping you out for free. Yeah, there’s, ah lot to be gained by making sure you’re not an asshole.

Yeah, no being positive and inviting. Um, but at the same time, like, you know, I mean, if they’re putting in a bullshit PR try toe like, guide them towards being a real contributor, but yes, always be kind just in general, like I think on the Internet, just whether it’s get hub or something else. Just be kind,

kind everywhere. That’s absolutely true.

But especially during October fest.

And I do want to say I’m gonna go off on a tiny, tiny tangent here, but only because I saw this recently and I reached out to the folks. They didn’t answer me. So I’m going to assume I don’t have permission to share their story or who they are, so I’m gonna not do that. But what I am going to say is, I know there is a certain culture of people that exists who have decided to use git hub as a means of attacking certain people on get hub when they identify them and they, they will attack their projects, they will spam them with bad PR.

They will spam them with comments, and I just want you to know if that happens to you. I do say it honestly, that reach out to us, and we will be more than happy to come in and provide any assistance. I think Aaron and I, I’m speaking for Aaron a little bit, but I think Aaron and I are on the same page. This that that is not okay. And there are plenty of us out there that are willing to support and defend on those issues.

So just saying that out loud, especially during October fest. But I know activity picks up, so you don’t have to put up with that. Let me just say that. I think that’s fair. Yeah, definitely less serious. Now getting started in this. Let’s talk about getting started. Like you’re excited because there’s, ah lot of way to do this. So I’m gonna jump ahead in the notes. So I’m gonna apologize to Aaron real fast.

I’m jumping out to sea because I think finding something is one of the most important steps. Yeah, And I say this because I know we have some designers who Listen, I know we have you X people who listen analytics, people who listen, not all of your coders. And you think, Well, this is no good to me, but it absolutely is. Oh, no. You can be

so many projects. Need you X and front end and way out and other things.

There’s, ah whole myriad of things. Um I had a friend. I said I had a story to kind of tie this in earlier. I have a friend who’s not a developer at all. Uh and but she is interested in tech. And most specifically, she was asking me about how to get into technical writing. And one of the pieces of advice I gave her was Get on, get Hub, look for the label.

Good first issue in areas of documentation because if there’s one area that is hugely lacking on a lot of projects, it’s good documentation. Um, you know, a lot of developers. They’re great writing code. They’re great at building a product. They may not be great about explaining that project. And so technical writing is one of those areas, like as long as you learn how to use git hub and learn how to make a commitment be rights.

Um, markdown, which isn’t hard. That’s not a hard thing to do, even if you don’t know how to be

done is super easy. Yeah, they’re learning in half an hour.

Graphic designers, you know, coming in and helping up, you know, with icon design and and design language type issues. Again a lot of us can write great code that’s very functional and can get things across. But having good design language attached to that that conveys meaning through the iconography and the layout. Hugely important. You see a ruby project. I’m not a Ruby Dev.

Sorry, but I could write Java script and I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Aaron, but I’ll bet Diaper Base has some JavaScript stuff somewhere in the front end. Yeah, like it’s all about finding opportunity on these things. So that’s why I wanted to skip ahead a little bit. This was out of order because I think it’s important to emphasize that this isn’t about code on Lee.

There are so many ways. I mean, people use git hub, toe like version, wild things. In some cases

there there are documentation, actually, if you want, so all right, let me talk back here. If you are a developer in your skill development, especially if you know I do like writing tests, go to any repo buying a test suite that is skimpy and run it and find the test that you can write and the right to test and contribute those. I guarantee those will be accepted. I didn’t just talking that. That’s a

great angle.

Um, writing test is always a welcome thing. I was always ecstatic to get, um, tests added to our suite. But even just writing documentation, you know, if you are, go in and run a winter through it and find the winding comments that air saying like this is missing comments for this thing at those there’s there’s a bunch of non code things that you can add to a project that still help it.

Um, there’s just There’s a lot of things that just take time to add that we don’t always have the time to add

Thio. You’re testing point. The one of the key labels to look for is Q. A Q A is the word that gets attached that sometimes it’s testing. Sometimes it’s tests, but sometimes it’s a unit test or integration test, but Q. A. I think it’s probably the bigger umbrella quality assurance que a folks are the ones who generally right tests run tests.

I’m blessed to work somewhere where we have a Q a team that you know, these selenium and all that I’ve been learning. Um, not Mocha It’s the other one. Cyprus, Um, which uses mocha as their assertion library in some cases. But Cyprus is a testing framework for JavaScript for integration test. Very cool. Um, and once you figure out how it works, yeah, it’s a JavaScript you have tow, learn some Java script, but it’s all also a very lexical language.

I think I’m using the right word there like it’s very descriptive, like when you write a test, you do have to know some technical stuff to pick it out. But writing the test is a very descriptive process, like it should describe certain things. And, like I’m saying, those is literally like those were the functions it should, you know, contained the phrase this form submitted successfully, you know, like it will actually look for that string of text and things

that sounds like our speaker capybara, both of those whose very like Mexico commands I’ve never used. Q. A is a label, but I, um, have used good first issue, and I have used Hacktoberfest both of those you can search pretty reliably and find, if good first issue, especially. I’m very careful toe Onley pick issues that are not trivial but, um simple and complexity

or or low value? Is that afraid? Is that a fair to say Like like I have work to do. I have to have to pick between these these issues and this one is gonna take me longer, but it’s also much more important. This one’s easy, but it’s such a fringe bug or something like that, like it’s a low value kind

of bug. I don’t think I’ve ever used the low value able, but yes, no.

Yeah, I’m not. I’m not saying from low value. I’m just saying, like philosophically. Oh, sure, because we like. That’s one way we arrange work is we kind of term in value. So it’s Yeah, this is a bug. It’s a really bug, but it’s such a fringe bug, or it affect so few people that it from a value standpoint, fixing it isn’t very important. So

well, so sometimes it. I mean, if you value a bunch of things that, like 89 and 10 there could be stuff valued at five that just, you know, never quite gets on the backlog. But it’s still important to

find value real fast.

So if I, um not not specifically agile pointing. But like if we’re just saying an arbitrary value on a scale from 1 to 10 if all the issues that you and your team work on our 89 and 10 in terms of priority, then there could be issues that are a five. So not insignificant but not quite high priority enough to be worked on by the team.

Every team will sort of score or value. Some people use text labels. This is a blocker. This is critical. This is trivial. It’s all different ways of just waiting. So values something that yeah, if you’re familiar with agile story pointing, you’ll hear story pointing is a phrase, and some people will will use those in labels in their projects. So that’s why I kind of wanted to stop for a second, because you’ll see.

And that’s what that means is they’re just waiting those issues.

If you if you’re if you’re like a senior or like experience Dev and you do a critical issue for Hacktoberfest, you are. You get all the props that those are always always appreciated. I have had a couple come in like that.

You still only get one shirt, though. Sorry,

you only get one shirt, but you get lots of Internet goody points to

make this easy for folks to. If you go to the show notes over a drunken u s dot com for this episode, I’ll have a link there that links to get hubs. Issue search pre filtered for issues that are set for Hacktoberfest. So that’s another easy way as well as you could you could search for. Like you said, Good first issue. Good first issue is a great starting place in a ton of places. N

ow I’m gonna rewind, go up the show Notes Demo Repo There’s a There’s a demo repo you can go play with called the Cloud Haiku I hike you I cu cu Yeah, I cook Um, this is a little repo that digital ocean has set up for the community that you can go in and learn how to commit to get. So this goes back to this idea that not everybody uses Get Dev’s use it.

But if you’re a designer, if your tech writer you may not be familiar with that process, so what they’ve done is they have put together some learning resource is, and one is a great slideshow again, it will have it linked in our show notes that walks through like how to make a first commit to get hub. If you want to get a little more involved, there’s get Hub Lab, which has a bunch of lessons that teach you, you know, from making a first commit toe.

You know, merging you are like a doing conflict resolution and branching and all of this kind of stuff. So then, with this demo, Repo Digital Ocean has set it up so that anybody can commit their own high coups to it and set their own PRS for Oh, that’s cool. So it’s kind of a Yeah, it’s just sort of an open repo. It’s not designed to be complex. It’s not about the code.

It’s just about get yourself comfortable making a commit to a repo and learn that process. I wanna look at this so yeah, it’s very cool, and it’s full, like if you just want to read a bunch of high coos about, you know, development in all of this. They it’s literally jam packed with um and leveling to it, obviously, So that’s a good way to get started, Especially if you aren’t a developer. If you haven’t been using git hub

away. Michael, you gotta let me read a couple of these. Yeah, Okay. Friday. Pull. Request pushed production quickly. Programmer Nightmare.

Yeah, I The first, the first phrase of that Got me.

Uh huh. I hear what’s called lazy humans. Oh, lazy humans. Building quick waited machines to make life simple. This is awesome. Okay. Python is super simple and succinct coding. No type, no worries.

What? We need to come up with a drunken UX cloud haiku to commit. And then we’ll put on a shirt or something. Yes, let’s think about let’s do that. The other way to get started is, and this is not gonna apply to everybody because of the complexity involved. And just because of fucking 2020. But there are events. And so if you go toe hacked, ober fist dot digital ocean dot com. Don’t remember it. Go to the website, go to our website.

We’ll have a link to it. Um, at the bottom, they have a link to events. And so there are events being held around around the world. US. Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, India. All of them are having, ah, October festive ends that are designed around helping people learn how to do it, finding issues to commit to and learning that process again. It’s not everywhere. You’re probably gonna be limited to relatively big cities for that kind of stuff.

But they’re happening all over, and they have a list of them on their website. So if you are in one of those major Metro’s or something like that and you want some of that support system, see if there’s an event in your area, Um, that’s it. Sometimes the best way to learn is from other people, you know, right next to you.

So okay, I want to finish on the most important part of this, which is the etiquette of the process, because there is there is a certain, like professionalism that should come along with this, I think.

All right, So, to be completely blunt, to get the T shirt, all you have to do is submit for commit for they don’t have to be accepted. Yeah,

and what they way, they phrase it is for valid commits. I don’t know what constitutes valid, but I’m assuming that commit That’s not marked as spam or,

um, e believe a PR maintainer are the repo maintainer can market as invalid and then that doesn’t get counted. So repo maintainers have the ability to market commit as invalid. If you submit a bullshit commit, just don’t do it. Um, when I was a couple years ago, we had one come in for diaper base and it was like editing to read me m d file. And it was adding some line that was not relevant and attacked Issue number one.

And it wasn’t related to issue number one, which had already been closed. And I was like my my response. I think I mentioned this earlier, right? Yeah, we’ve recorded so many times.

Don’t worry about how many times we’ve done this. Uh,

the thing I mentioned earlier, it’s for this. I think

the important thing there is invalid is not the same as rejected, right? That’s maybe the important note to take away from that. Like if you do a PR and it’s not good enough, a most folks will help you make it good enough, but if it’s just like, oh, we’re we don’t want to do that that’s not the same is invalid.

This kind of goes into the second point, which is don’t you drive byes. So, like, if you, I mean, if you’re just trying to get the T shirt, all you have to do technically is submit for commits, but really like acting good faith, like try to actually solve the issue you’re trying to solve. That’s the point of this is to get people to contribute to open source.

So if you submit something and there’s feedback from the repo maintainers, take the feedback and try to finish the issue. Don’t take on an issue on the If you think you can’t complete it, it’s a good point if they’re like, Oh, you forgot to make this past lent ing Then fix the lint ing and update the PR. Do it, Do it right. Like actually, try to really do this for riel. Don’t just, like dump your four commits and then be done.

You’ll still get the T shirt, but, uh, with which is also like my third point of following through. If if you get feedback and it says, hey, like, could you write a test for this or, um, you know, make it past wanting or, you know, this isn’t the code style we use. Could you do this instead? You know, fix it, fix the commit, and then it can get merged in. And then it could be done.

And it it shouldn’t If you’re getting feedback from the repo maintainers, it’s something they think is an inconsequential thing because they wouldn’t get feedback if they didn’t think of this.

They want you to help. They really dio speaking from experience. Yes, 100% but and and, like, you know, on that idea of follow through. So you said it, Aaron, Just then. Um, I don’t I say that like it’s a throwback. You literally said it like a minute ago.

Episode 72 Episode?

Yeah, back in Episode 72. Like 47 minutes in, you know. Hey, could you write a test to do this? It’s okay to say I don’t know how to do that. I would love to do that, but I’m not familiar with the process of writing a test. Yeah, it’s okay to say that it’s okay to be like, man. Yeah, I wanna help, right? That test. Is there somebody that can kind of show me what that looks like, Absolutely going back.

I’m going to steal a phrase from, like, two episodes ago, three episodes ago to use the word idioms, I said, I’ve been trying to work this word into my vernacular. Now that I’ve learned it and committed to it, I’m a developer. I understand. Like I could look at Ruby, for instance, and like from a very high level, like I get the idioms, Aiken see kind of what’s happening and what’s going on there.

But this idea of making, like just coming in and asking for help and getting assistance with those issues and saying, Hey, I can write this test, I I could do this, but can you explain such and such to me? And I’ll follow through with the rest? You know, it’s just a matter of making sure that you do that follow up and you do that asking an exploration, because again, most of the folks are gonna help you.

They’re gonna be right there for you the whole way because they want you. They want you to finish that right, like they want that test. Definitely want all that stuff to come through. So they’re not asking to try toe like, make you fail. They’re just asking because again, they probably don’t know you. They don’t know your capabilities at that point. So it’s just a matter of articulating those those things and those challenges.

I definitely agree. Um and I would say that if you you should approach, you should put Hacktoberfest as both a learning opportunity and opportunity to help out repose that are volunteer based. So, like, come at it with that attitude that you’re trying to learn stuff and you’re trying to help out people. And if you don’t know how to do something, ask to probably get a good response.

We always love to get people coming in and contributing code. And if we ask you like, hey, could you write a test for this and you say, like, I’m not sure how Then we said like Okay, cool. Are you available to pair this time this week? I’ve done


before. I’ve carried with random strangers before. Just to do this, it happens.

Me too. I have that app on my phone. So, uh, folks, I hope you found this useful. I hope you get involved. I really hope you let us know how you’ve done in hack Tober fest. I’d love to hear if you have trouble or problems with it or if you got super into it and did, like, 33 different PR’s Let us know, uh, and and we wanna hopefully share your success with everybody

before we close. I went really quick as someone who’s maintained a repo for the past couple years as landlocked our fast. If you are someone who maintains the repo and you wanted to Hacktoberfest, um, the first thing I would say is right. Good issues that describe the problem well and understand people don’t have your domain knowledge, so provide as much information as possible as well.

As what criteria do you need for the issue to be complete? Tag the issue. Hacked Ober Fist tag it. If it’s appropriate, tag it Good. First issue. Um, tag it. Need help once our need help or help wanted. Those are both good to do. Make sure that the issue is small, like if you’re thinking agile pointing, um, make him like one Pointers I wouldn’t go to like like stick with small issues.

The goal is really if you’re repo maintainer. The goal is to get people exposure cheer project with the hopes that they will come back and contribute more after the event.

The way I would phrase that is, make it complete herbal. Sure, a lot of a lot of tickets When you get into him, you realize that, like the the scope of work is maybe bigger, that that comes back to the again. I love this. It depends like I could do that. But it depends. There’s some other stuff we have to consider. Like tickets that tickets need to be encapsulated really well for this to work.

Make it that if they look at the issue and they say, Oh, this is the work that needs to be done and they do all those things I will literally put a checklist. Look up, mark down. You don’t have to do this. I will put a checklist into the issue that says, if you do these things that are in the checklist, that I will accept your power, that’s a good idea to post on.

Make it make it easy for people to get that quick win, because the satisfy satisfaction of succeeding on a pole request is great. And if you get a poor request merged, maybe you want to come back and do another one. How

are a dopamine? Maybe?

Yeah, totally. Last year I think we had I want to say 20 or 30 random people contributing stuff. The diaper base. Um, so it’s It’s a great time to get people to be first time contributors, and oh, and if you are long term maintaining a repo, um, the October fest label on your poll requests can help you identify how often your poor question coming in from these events such as that? Yeah.

So, folks, if you’ve enjoyed this episode, be sure to run by live Manning. If you go to drunken, you x dot com slash women In Tech, The live at Manning Manning Publishing They do books and learning Siri’s and online learning. Um, and they’re hosting. They hosted last month, the Rust Conference, and this month they’re doing the women in Tech. Siri’s. It is a free online conference that is being streamed on twitch.

So, Aaron, you don’t have to leave your house. Hooray! It’s great what they’ve done. They’ve put together a huge list of women speakers to talk about issues they faced in technology and in the industry. They’re covAarong all kinds of different topics. So whatever your interest area is, there’s probably a conversation that’s gonna be happening that will interest you. So if you run by drunken you x dot com slash women in tech, that’s w o M e n i N t E c h.

You can get a free a ticket. And if you want to schedule on your calendar October 13th, so it’s a month out. Still, No, that’s not right. That’s bad math. Two weeks out, try two weeks. You got two weeks to its from noon to five. That’s a Tuesday. Uh, jeez, you got your calendar up, E. I am paying him right, folks, but yeah, folks run by drinking you x dot com slash women and taking it a free ticket.

It’s just one afternoon, and you get to learn something and enjoy the voices of other people who aren’t in your own head again. I hope everybody enjoyed today’s episode and gets like excited about Hacktoberfest. I promise. I really, really am gonna I I don’t see that last year in the year before that. But I really am. I’m gonna find some public PR’s to pull because I’m not a horrible person.

Intentionally, I really want to support open source, and it’s just finding the time in my schedule. And I’m not making me Oh, my God, it totally yeah, let us know. I really am serious. If you got involved in October Fest, even in years past, um, let us know. Take a picture of yourself in your October Fest T shirt and send it to us, and we’d love to see it and share that out. So we hope you’re successful.

And if you need help finding up an issue or finding a project Hey, come find us online and we’ll help you find a project. You should

come by and share those photos. I’ve got 3 October Chef October chef, chef Hacktoberfest shirts. Myself. I was combining shirts and myself into Chef. I think that’s what happened right there.

I know I was there.

You saw how much the bottle had earlier the first time we tried recording.

Hey, no, this is the first time we’ve done this. But now Aaron’s wearing three shirts and I’m super confused

Yeah, uh, sent us photos sent us here. Let us know what if you’ve contributed to issues in the past. What was it that made you want to contribute to that issue? I would actually like to know myself as someone who’s maintained Hacktoberfest Repo before in the past. Um, and you could let us know at Facebook or twitter dot com So I struck in you x and instagram dot com So I struck in your backs podcast and come back and chat with us.

Tell us all the details. Um com slash discord Black also where it will

point to point to this court. Now, um and big shout out to like the folks did a lotion because obviously they’re, you know, dumping a ton of their own money in this. But also, you know, folks like at at stripe and certain c I and Gremlin and Cloudflare like this high Hacktoberfest is a big deal so way Hope you’re part of it. We hope you enjoy it and we hope you let us know how everything goes.

Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you’re doing work that matters to you and makes a difference to people and helps other folks build better projects and maintain open source for the benefit of other people. Because when you keep your personas close and your users closer thank by God, you know you’re doing it right. At least it depends. A bottle is empty. E finished it? Uh huh.

This episode of The Drunken UX Podcast brought to you by the live@Manning conference series. APIs are the backbone of modern, interconnected software systems. Join us at the API live@manning conference and ensure your APIs are flexible, functional, and user friendly. Register for the API conference, August 3, for FREE!