My First Week of Hacktoberfest

My First Week of Hacktoberfest

It's the end of the first week of my first time as an official Hacktoberfest participant!

There have been many ups and downs this week, and I thought I'd summarize them here so that others can see what the experience of a first-timer is like.

So without further adieu, let's go back to Monday and my first (FAILED ๐Ÿ˜…) attempt at a pull request for Hacktoberfest!

Lesson Learned

I've forked projects before on GitHub, but I wanted to brush up on my skills before October came around so that I could be extra prepared for Hacktoberfest. But as it so often happens, September got away from me. Still, I was excited to create my first PR on a pretty simple project. I chose to make some edits to a README file for a Memory Card game built in JavaScript. Sounds easy, right? For my first project, I didn't want to commit to too much, plus I already felt confident working with Markdown and HTML, both of which I'd need for the edits.

I worked on the file, committed my changes, and made my pull request within the span of 30 minutes. I was feeling pretty confident until I loaded up my Hacktoberfest profile page and saw this...

project not participating.png

Yep, as it turns out, I had totally missed merging the changes from my fork into the main project branch. No wonder it says Project not participating!

Luckily, I was able to quickly rectify this but it was a humbling experience for sure. I started to majorly doubt myself. Maybe I wasn't cut out for Hacktoberfest after all? After a pep talk from a family member, I spent that evening reading everything I could find on making top-notch pull requests so that I could feel more confident going forward.

ReadMe.pngThe README file I worked on for my first successful pull request.

Trying Something New

As a Unity game developer, I knew there wasn't going to be a lot out there that utilized the skills I had. I do know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript fairly well, but they're definitely not the languages I feel most comfortable using.

I am very familiar with C#, but only in the context of Unity. So I challenged myself to find a C# project where I could use the language I knew best, but in the context of a console app.

I stumbled across the perfect project on my second day of Hacktoberfest. This was a repo of command-line games built in various languages such as C, C++ and Python. There was no C# category on the repo yet, but the guidelines encouraged contributors to add new categories as they saw fit. I forked the project and got to work building my very first console app using C#.

After reading a few different tutorials, I realized that a lot of my coding knowledge from Unity would transfer pretty seamlessly to my app. I decided to use some game logic I had learned from a beginner project in a course by (PS. I highly recommend this learning platform if you are interested in learning game development).

Commandline game.pngThe C# command-line game I wrote for my second pull request.

It took a couple days of on and off work, but I finished and submitted my console app last night. Success! While I was working on this one, I'd also begun contributing some NPC quotes to a large database for another Unity game. So pull request #3 was already well in hand.

quotes.pngA library of NPC quotes I contributed to for my third pull request. Can anyone guess which game I took these quotes from? ๐Ÿ˜€

This morning, I woke up to find that all three of my successful pull requests were now in the 'maturing' period. And I think I already have my next project lined up for pull request #4...

Unity games galore

As it turns out, I was able to find a few high-quality Unity games to contribute to for Hacktoberfest, and I couldn't be happier. I'm currently working on adding a level to a mobile ball launcher game and a start screen to an Angry Bird clone. These pull requests will be a little more time intensive so I won't be able to finish them until the weekend or early next week. But I'm excited to be able to dive in and work on contributing to a game using the platform I love most: Unity.

Flappy Bird.pngA 2D Unity game I'm hoping to contribute to for my fourth pull request!

Now it's your turn: tell me about your first week doing Hacktoberfest! What projects did you work on? Any lessons learned?

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