11 Oct 2015


One of my favourite new languages right now is Rust. It’s an interesting combination of strong typing, low level control and memory safety. Rust is a rapidly growing and changing language, and now is a great time to get involved as part of Hacktoberfest.

Hacktoberfest is GitHub & Digital Ocean’s yearly celebration of open source code. Submit 4 pull requests to open source projects on GitHub and get a snazzy tee shirt.

Getting Started

If you’re new to open source software GitHub has a great guide to contributing to open source. Find a project on GitHub that you’re interested in; fork the project and get hacking.

A good place to get started with contributing to many projects is to check out their GitHub issues and find a simple bug to fix. Hacking around to fix the bug will teach you about some of the structure of the project. You’ll also be forced to find out how to build it and run the tests. It’s also a good litmus test for contribution. If you can’t just clone the repo and build it then the project might not be ready for contributions.

If you want to get started working towards your free shirt Rust has issues tagged with E-easy which are simpler to get your teeth into. If you’re having trouble then there’s also the E-mentor tag, which contains issues where a member of the Rust team has offered to lend a hand.

A good issue to start you with contributing to Rust is #24407. This issue tracks adding --explain support for Rust error codes. Being able to call rustc --explain E0001 is a great rust feature, but not all error codes are supported yet.

Keeping Track

Once you’ve got a few pull-requests opened you can check how well you’re doing, and share your contribution with the community with the #hacktoberfest hashtag.