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Bradley D. Thornton
Bradley D. Thornton

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What is Hactoberfest to you?

Well Hactoberfest 2019 has come and is in the process of winding down. For most, it's a matter of checking their mail for some really kewl schwag, a t-shirt (or two, if last year is any indication) and some neat laptop stickers to proudly announce that the owner of that deck lid is a certified FOSSie.

But what is the real value in Hactoberfest? Beyond the incentive to exchange scwhag for PRs? is it in recognition of services rendered? Is it in the self-gratification that a task was completed resulting in gifts of appreciation?

Therein lies the crux, I believe, contained right there in that last sentence - appreciation. Certainly, you're thinking, 'Yes, he's referring to appreciation from the FOSS community', but no, I think it's the appreciation of accomplishment that one derives from being first persuaded, and then astonished, that they too can actually be one of these enigmatic contributors to the community.

It's not about what we're going to get from it, it's about bringing people into the fold, showing them that they too can do this, can participate, be a valuable asset to the community, and welcomed for doing so.

It's about the appreciation that one has for one's self, in knowing that not only can someone else rely upon them, but that they can rely upon themselves. And in the end, they feel good about themselves moving forward with a new confidence to help as a contributor to FOSS and even, make new friends, mentors, and change the world we live in.

And.... Okay, sure. It's about the schwag too ;)

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