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The DEV Team

Announcing the GitHub Actions Hackathon on DEV!

jess profile image Jess Lee (she/her) Updated on ・3 min read

We are thrilled to announce a new hackathon on DEV: GitHub Actions For Open Source!

From now through to September 17, you’ll have the opportunity to win sweet prizes by building and sharing GitHub Actions that benefit open source. We want to check out all your awesome workflows. From API management to project management, and everything in between! Read on to learn more.

What Are GitHub Actions?

GitHub Actions are individual tasks that, when combined, result in a custom workflow that’s all your own!

GitHub Actions allow you to automate and customize your software development workflows. Actions are located in the same place you store code, collaborate with peers, solve issues, and ship open source software — GitHub!

Whether you build a custom action or integrate an existing one into your workflow for the hackathon, we hope that you’ll walk away with a greater understanding of the value of GitHub Actions — for you and the open source community.

We’re excited to see how you approach this challenge! More on GitHub Actions here.


The GitHub Actions Hackathon is calling for projects in these categories:

  • Maintainer Must-Haves: make the lives of open source maintainers easier.
  • DIY Deployments: improve the deployment process for open source projects.
  • Interesting IoT: celebrating projects that integrate with IoT in some way
  • Phone Friendly: workflows built for Mobile (PWA readiness, iOS/Android)
  • Wacky Wildcards: anything that doesn’t fit in an above category (note, truly wacky submissions are encouraged)

Why Participate?

The core philosophy behind open source software is code, technology, and the services we use are stronger and more secure when peer-review is both solicited and easily accessible. To be truly involved in the open source community, you (of course) need to participate! GitHub Actions are the perfect way to contribute to open source while optimizing your workflows.

If that’s not incentive enough, we also have some sweet, sweet prizes!


5 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category):

  • $1,500 USD gift card or equivalent
  • $300 USD credit to the DEV Shop
  • GitHub Swag Pack
  • DEV Sticker Pack
  • DEV “Actions Hackathon” grand prize winner badge

Runner-Up Prizes (10 Total):

  • $250 USD gift card or equivalent
  • $150 USD credit to the DEV Shop
  • GitHub Swag Pack
  • DEV Sticker Pack
  • DEV “Actions Hackathon” runner-up badge

Participants (with a valid project):

  • DEV Sticker Pack
  • DEV “Actions Hackathon” participant profile badge

How to Participate

There’s already an awesome library of GitHub Actions, so for this hackathon, we challenge you to submit workflows by leveraging existing actions. You are, of course, welcome to create custom actions, too.

In order to submit a valid project, please follow the submission process and rules closely.

How To Submit

  • Document your project journey along the way with the #ActionsHackathon tag.
  • Submit your project as a DEV post by filling out this template to share your workflows (.yml) and/or code repository.
  • If you’re sharing a repository as part of your submission, please be sure the project includes an open source license and README.

Additional Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to 18+. Contest entry period ends September 17, 11:59 pm PT. Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law or regulation. For Official Rules, see Contest Announcement Page and General Contest Official Rules.

Community Support

The GitHub team will be available to help anyone who runs into issues or has questions related to GitHub Actions. You can reach the GitHub team by leaving a comment in the GitHub Actions Hackathon help thread.

We also have a community update thread where you can share your ideas and gather feedback as you begin making progress on your submission. We encourage you to share your progress along the way to generate more excitement and benefit from additional community feedback suggestions!

Important Dates 🗓

  • August 13: Hackathon Begins!
  • September 17: Hackathon Submission Due at 11:59 PM PST.
  • September 23: Hackathon Winners Announced

We can’t wait to see what you build. Happy coding!

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄


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As a "learn by example" kind of person, I'm really excited to see the submissions to help me make better use of GitHub actions. I have yet to hack very creatively on this really neat extensible tool and I suspect the submissions will go a long way for me personally.

Can't wait to see what folks build!


I'm looking forward to seeing what the community comes up with for this contest across all categories, but especially for Wacky Wildcards. You can get pretty dang creative here. I'm a fan of this Profile Readme where you can actually play chess (powered by GitHub Actions).


Oh sweet! Didn't know something like this was possible with Github Actions 🤯


Ohh yeah, when this feature rolled out to everyone, I came across a lot of these innovative ideas of using Github actions..... kinda jealous of them for creating something so sick 🤘


I was totally amazed when I found out that GitHub Actions can let you do that!
It inspired me to make a Sokoban game driven by GitHub Actions:
Thank you so much! 😃


hello Peter @ben @jess if we are participating in groups so every member will get a badge but in the last time dev team given badges to single-member one who submitted project can you guys work on that reply, please


Hey @krishnakakade confirming that every member of a team that submits a valid project will receive a badge.

If we messed up and forgot to award a badge to a team member last time around, please send us an email to yo@dev.to and we'll get it rewarded properly!

last time we are the third runnerup in Dev hackathon I did project with @itshally she didn't receive badge yet


Brilliant! Truly defines Wacky Wildcards 🤯


If someone is looking for a solution to trigger one action from a repo to the next repo, you have repository dispatch.

Here was what I have research and found.



Actually I was thinking about creating a more complex GitHub Action for one of my projects that nobody has done before and might be useful for a lot of projects!

Happy hacking! ;-)


Uh this might be exactly the motivation I need to implement one of my ideas. Have been long thinking about a GitHub Action that adds some features to template repositories. 😁


Oh boy, can wait to see what actions you're going to use folks. If you use one of mine please tell me:


I am very excited for this hackathon and I already had an action to build in my to-do list and this hackathon was the motivation I needed. Thanks for hosting this event.

I would also like to ask couple of questions regarding hackathon.

  1. Can we submit more than one actions?
  2. Can we submit actions we built in past?

Really awesome to hear that you'll be participating, and that this contest provided a bit of extra motivation to get started.

  1. Can we submit more than one actions?

Yes, you can submit as many entries as you'd like, but you'll only be eligible to win one prize.

  1. Can we submit actions we built in past?

For this contest, you'll only be able to submit projects that you started after this announcement post was published.


Can I submit an existing project that did not have GitHub Actions and I start integrating GitHub Actions after this announcement was published?

Yes, as your submission will be the undertaking of of integrating the action and/or workflow into the project.


Ope - I'm too young. Looks super cool tho, can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


I'm looking to learn so much about Github Actions!


Absolutely love it!! Just got myself into GitHub Actions and thought about developing for some of my projects. Can’t wait to share my thoughts 💕💕


Cameras, Lights, ...Github-Actions!!!


Amazing idea! I fell in love with github actions a few months ago and now this pushes us to be creative with it! Stoked to give it a shot!


Hi , Is it required that the technologies that i use for this submission should be open source technologies ? Example : Can I use Twilio ? But Twilio services are not open sourced ?

@jess @ben @peter


Hey @shaijut , you're welcome to use any actions for your workflow. We only need the workflow .yml file to be open source. For Twilio specifically, perhaps this one could be useful to you? github.com/marketplace/actions/twi...


Thank you so much @jess . Appreciate. :)


The Wacky Wildcards section will be really interesting.


@devteam in the "Additional Rules" section it is mentioned that contest entry period ends at September 17, 11:59 pm but at the bottom under "Important Dates" September 12 is mentioned as the time when Submissions are due.

Which amongst those should we look at?


Sorry about that, the September 12 was a typo and has been updated. The entry period will end on September 17 at 11:59pm PT. Thanks for catching that!


@pkfrank I could not see your update. As of 2020-09-17 06:28 UTC, I still see the template as follows:

[Reminder]: # (Submissions are due on September 12th (11:59 PM PDT) and winners will be announced on September 23!)

Wow. This is super cool. I received my swag and a beautiful coffee cup a few weeks ago from the first Github Hackathon competition creating my first Github Action "Hugo on Fire" (github.com/wajahatkarim3/hugo-on-fire)

This is a great competition and its going to be lots of fun to bring another idea I have in mind in reality.


Hey I've just submited my GitHub Actions Post. Devops You Alexa Skill!!

Check all the content here: dev.to/xavidop/devops-your-alexa-s...

Hope to win this hackathon!


confuse about how to document our journey?do we need to build and test a complete action first then we need to fill that mentioned template and tell about our journey OR we need to write on this template from our learning phase to final product and edit our published post as we got to know more ?? Any Guidance ??? @jess


Hi! Folks tackle this in a variety of different ways. Some prefer to build and test their hackathon first and then fill out the template + share their final post — some decide to provide updates across multiple posts before submitting their official entry.

Regardless, the post you share using the template is considered the official submission. Hope this helps!


I wanted to try it out Github actions for a while and this was the perfect last push to do it.
Great initiative, I have already submitted mine 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻


Sounds very interesting! Can't wait to see the possibilities with GitHub Actions!


Looking forward to the challenge ☺️


I made a submission and someone found a bug and provided a recommendation for the fix. If I accept the change before the submission deadline, will that change the submission from being an individual submission to a team submission?


Will there be any notifications about the passed/failed status of the submitted post?
For example, I've made a post about my humble attempt to automate blogging and CV publication with Jekyll and Pandoc, but how can I know whether this project is eligible to participate? Or if it's not — how to improve / what to change.



Hey Serhii! Unfortunately, we will not be able to share the status of each submission but please let us know if you have any general questions about the hackathon requirements.


What's the difference between github.com/actions and github.com/marketplace?type=actions ? And, are we encouraged to use actions from both locations as building blocks? Or, should actions from github.com/actions , as linked in the announcement post, be the only ones used?


From GitHub Actions Documentation:

While both GitHub Actions and GitHub Apps provide ways to build automation and workflow tools, they each have strengths that make them useful in different ways.

GitHub Apps:

  • Run persistently and can react to events quickly.
  • Work great when persistent data is needed.
  • Work best with API requests that aren't time consuming.
  • Run on a server or compute infrastructure that you provide.

GitHub Actions:

  • Provide automation that can perform continuous integration and continuous deployment.
  • Can run directly on runner machines or in Docker containers.
  • Can include access to a clone of your repository, enabling deployment and publishing tools, code formatters, and command line tools to access your code.
  • Don't require you to deploy code or serve an app.
  • Have a simple interface to create and use secrets, which enables actions to interact with third-party services without needing to store the credentials of the person using the action.

I've looked through the official rules, and I'm still a little unclear. Are submitted workflows required to be open source? For example, can I submit a post about a GitHub Action used on a private repository?


Hey Paul, we'd ideally like to see the workflow used on an open source project but as long as you submit the .yml file for the file, you are good to go!


Excited to see what the community builds



  • Is it global or only for US Participants? (+with regards to prize)
  • Can we submit more than one action?

This is a global contest (not restricted to US). You can enter as many submissions as you'd like, but are only eligible to win one prize. Look forward to seeing what you put together!