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JenningsF
JenningsF

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Hacktoberfest 2021 Experience

Intro πŸ‘‹

Howdy! I currently do not work in the tech industry. I went to school and received a CS degree, but have been working outside my degree since graduating. I am currently planning a career transition to jump into some sort of development and the timing worked out that as I was refreshing the skills I learned in school, I stumbled on theDEV community in late September just in time to see the Hacktoberfest 2021 announcement! What better way to get going on some open source contribution and learn some thing along the way. Here's a summary of my (sometimes simple) contributions.

Contributions πŸ’»

GitHub logo YasiOnFire / coders-railroad

Fun Hacktoberfest project

My first contribution was focused on re-acquainting myself with git and GitHub CLI commands. So I found the CodersRrailroad , which was a project started as a fun Hacktoberfest project for beginners. Right up my alley! After a quick JSON addition and fumbling through git and gh commands, I submitted my first PR πŸ‘.

As I searched through of posts of potential projects and lists of issues, I came across a repo for OhioElixir, which is a site for US-based community of Elixir developers and enthusiasts. The issue was seemingly simple: add a favicon to the site (which I've never done before). Simple enough, right? But wait... this site is built on a majority of Elixir code and runs a Phoenix framework. Thus begins the journey of briefly learning about both Elixir and Pheonix, how to install them (which seemed to be half of the battle), and how to run them. After much frustration and error, I was able to finally overcome and add a favicon properly to appear on all pages. Nailed it!

GitHub logo alfg / opendrinks

🍸 Open Source Drinks! Add your own recipe in a pull request! Inspired by πŸŽƒHacktoberfest!

Next up was a neat project I found, Open Drinks, where contributors can submit recipes for various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It was another great exercise of git and gh commands as well as familiarizing myself with JSON objects and properties. I decided to submit a drink I enjoyed at the Christmas markets from my time in Germany, GlΓΌhwein. Go checkout some other awesome recipes!

Last, but definitely not least, was taking on a feature implementation for Library of Twitter, which randomly generates a tweet of random characters. The added feature was to generate a tweet of random words and to also allow users to toggle between the two. Boy oh boy was this taking a huge bite. I have some very basic experience in web development just from online courses I've been taking, but the added complication of learning how to make fetch requests to a JSON file, implementing async functions, and working through Promises was not something I expected to be so complex. Also, coming up with a custom toggle radio button to match the app's design was also a big challenge. In the end though, I think the end result was a success! It may not be the cleanest code or most efficient way of implementing that functionality, but it works nonetheless and I was very pleased with the result.

Wrap-up πŸŽ‰

While it was sometimes difficult to find the time to learn and code, Hacktoberfest has been very rewarding in giving me a nudge towards open source contribution and sparking that drive to carve out time to code. Thank you to all of the organizers of the event and those here on DEV that post incredibly helpful content for a beginner like me. Look forward to seeing y'all around.

P.S. Any advice from those that shifted careers to tech/development is well appreciated as I come up with my transition plan.

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