Justin Cooksey

It's back around to October again and Hacktoberfest is of course up and running. I enjoyed my first involvement with Hacktoberfest in 2019 but I didn't complete enough pull request for the month. Will I make it this year?

Hacktoberfest is a great idea. It got me contributing, and keen to try again next year, but I hope to keep its intent rolling through the year.

As before in 2019, my thanks go to DigitalOcean and DEV for this great initiative.

Justin Cooksey

This is the beginings of this site utilising GatsbyJS.

While I am learning parts of GatsbyJS as well as expanding knowledge on ReactJS, I am not following through somone tutorial and simply pasting things in from that. I want to work on this to understand how these frameworks operate. As such it has been, and will be, a little jumpy as I don't follow a set path through setting up this site as I would if I followed through someones tutorial.

At present I have a fairly basic blog/thoughts/articles system operational, as well as a landing page. All of the pages have very little styling at this point, which certainly needs to be worked on. I also need to get some content up, expecially in the about page. I've also got options to discover on things such as styling where I'm exploring:

I've currently used the following plugins:

  • gatsby-plugin-react-helmet for correct SEO elements on the pages
  • gatsby-plugin-react-helmet-canonical-urls to make pages cannonical for this site. The source site.
  • gatsby-plugin-styled-components for styling
  • gatsby-plugin-mdx to manage the Markdown files to be used as post content
  • gatsby-remark-vscode to have any Markdown code blocks styled to look like vscode screenshots
  • gatsby-plugin-feed to create RSS feed data to allow sharing via feeds
  • gatsby-plugin-sitemap to screate sitemap files
  • gatsby-plugin-robots-txt to create robots.txt files
  • gatsby-plugin-offline & gatsby-plugin-manifest to make the site a Progressive Web App
  • gatsby-plugin-netlify-cms suppoprt for Netlify CMS system to allow online creation of blog entries

Still a long way to go.

Justin Cooksey

While I enjoyed my first involvement with Hacktoberfest this year, I didn't end up completing enough pull request for the month. Partly this was due to a busy workload for the 9-5 job, but also I found that I wanted to find projects I could stay involved with.

Hacktoberfest did its job and got me more involved, more interested in contributing to open source projects on GiHub. I'd already done a first step back in Dec 18 on ollelauribostrom/rebus which is a great repository for your first attempt at a pull request. So I was ready to find some more projects I could help with.

To begin with I tried to just find anything that would get me across the line, but the fist project was really just an open repository to submit any code to help get 4 pull requests. Not really what's intended, and a few of these were (rightly) getting excluded from the competition.

The second one was valid, and gave me a better feeling of accomplishment when submitting the pull request, but that also made me more focussed on finding something that I could not only help with, but that I could have some continued interest in.

I know that in a lot of projects any help is appreciated, and that full support of the whole project is not really required, as long as you can help solve the issue, add the feature..... But I think I spent most of my time searching for that elusive project. One that was not only looking for help but was something that would be longer term than just one pull request.

I'm thinking the only way to find these projects is time, getting involved in open source by helping any project you can, and somewhere along the way one will appear that really takes your focus. Or perhaps, over time, a project you contribute to will become something more to you.

Hacktoberfest is a great idea. It got me contributing, and keen to try again next year, but I hope to keep its intent rolling through the year.

My thanks to DigitalOcean and DEV for the incentive.