Kicking off Postman’s API-First Student Event for Hacktoberfest


Throughout October, Postman is participating in the 8th annual Hacktoberfest—a month-long global celebration of open source software run by DigitalOcean. We’re kicking off our API-first student event for Hacktoberfest so that students can learn more about API-first development and collaborate on open source projects. Participants will leverage our Halloween Costume Contest API to build a frontend using our mock API, or they can build a live API server using our API schema. This is an exciting opportunity for students to experience API-first development firsthand while having fun with the festivities of the season. Check out all the details below on how to take part.

Individual students and student teams who complete their Postman Halloween Costume Contest API-first project by October 31, 2021 can enter into a Postman raffle to win a US$250 Amazon gift card for their team. Since DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest counts any approved pull requests in the month of October, you can submit your Postman project towards Hacktoberfest if you meet the separate requirements. The first 55,000 participants who have registered for DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest here and have four pull requests approved will receive a limited-edition T-shirt from DigitalOcean.

We look forward to seeing what students build as their Postman API-first spooky projects.

What is API-first?

API-first development is a development model in which applications are conceptualized and built as an interconnection of internal and external services through APIs. API-first companies use APIs as the building blocks of their software strategy.

When following an API-first approach, you define an API before writing any code for a server or frontend. The routes, parameters, responses, and other traits of an API can be clearly defined with a schema.

Schema as API blueprint

With a schema serving as a single source of truth, teams can move quickly with a “divide and conquer” approach to building applications. For example, frontend developers can code a website that hits a mock server that returns fake data of the expected shape, without having to wait for the backend team to build a real server. Meanwhile, the backend team can start coding a server against tests that check that the API schema is being implemented correctly.

There are several specification formats for defining an API schema. For this event, we’re using the OpenAPI Specification to define the Halloween Costume Contest API.

The Postman API Platform provides you with the tools you need to develop with an API-first approach. See more about how Postman can help you drive an API-first development lifecycle here.

Postman student project requirements

Students can choose to build either an API server or a website that consumes the API. You can use any tech stack you want, as long as you meet the below requirements based on your choice.

If you choose the API path

Your API must have these seven routes and pass all associated tests in the Postman Collection Runner. Your API server can be publicly deployed or run locally:

  • GET / (return API status)
  • GET /contestants (list all contestants)
  • GET /contestants/:id (return a contestant by id)
  • PATCH /contestants/:id (update a contestant by id)
  • DELETE /contestants/:id (delete a contestant by id)
  • POST /contestants (add a contestant)
  • PATCH /contestants/:id/upvote (add one to the contestant’s vote count)

If you choose the website path

Your website should fulfill at least these five user stories that consume the Halloween Costume Contest API mock server:

  • A user can view all contestants’ costume images in some kind of list.
  • A user can view all details about a single contestant.
  • A user can upvote individual contestants.
  • A user can add a contestant.
  • A user on a secret page can delete contestants.

Feel free to add other features, such as a secret page for updating contestant details or a map displaying where each contestant is from, etc. The design is all up to you. Be creative and have fun.

How students can get started

Students can follow these simple steps to fully participate in Hacktoberfest with Postman:

  1. Register for Hacktoberfest with DigitalOcean if you want to be eligible for a T-shirt.
  2. Choose whether you will build an API (backend) or website (frontend). Be sure to let us know by submitting this form.
  3. Get started by going to our Github repository here and forking the appropriate starter based on your challenge choice (API or website).
  4. Make pull requests based on the instructions in the repository to build your project. Make at least four in October to be eligible for an official Hacktoberfest T-shirt, and enter the Postman raffle for the US$250 prize for completed projects.

Submit your completed project here by October 31, 2021 to be entered into a raffle for a US$250 Amazon gift card from Postman; make sure it meets the requirements listed in the project repository. Only one submission per repo will be counted.


It can be more fun to build together. During Hacktoberfest, Postman will be hosting events for students to collaborate and learn together. Discord will be the main channel of communication, so join our community on Discord if you haven’t already. There are plenty of channels related to Hacktoberfest topics—#hacktoberfest, #hacktoberfest-frontend, #hacktoberfest-backend, #hacktoberfest-voice—where students can ask questions, share knowledge, and help with debugging any issues.

Event schedule

  • Postman Hacktoberfest Kickoff Zoom Event: October 5, 2021, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. PDT (Zoom link to access Zoom meeting)
  • Discord Office Hour IST: Thursdays in October, 8 p.m.-9 p.m. IST
  • Discord Office Hour PDT: Wednesdays in October, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. PDT
  • Postman Contest Submission Deadline: October 31, 2021, 11:59 p.m.


Is Postman’s Hacktoberfest event separate from DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest? 

Yes, they are separate. But your Postman Hacktoberfest project can count toward the required pull requests needed to win a T-shirt in DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest. Sign up for the Postman Hacktoberfest here and DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest here.

Do I need to register for Hacktoberfest with DigitalOcean to be eligible for the Hacktoberfest T-shirt from Digital Ocean? 


Am I guaranteed a T-shirt if I make four approved pull requests (PRs) in October? 

This year, only the first 55,000 participants can earn a T-shirt. See DigitalOcean’s Hacktoberfest participation rules for details.

Can I participate on a team? 

Yes. You can participate solo or on a team with other contributors. If you want to work with a team, only one person needs to fork a starter repo. Other members can make pull requests to the repo as contributors.

We built our project as a team. How many submissions do we make?

Please only make one submission per team. If your repo is chosen in the raffle, the prize will be divided among the contributors.

Can I do both the API and website challenges? Sure, if you want! Only one raffle entry will be counted per completed repository project.

What’s the best way to stay updated about Hacktoberfest with Postman?

Sign up for emails and announcements by applying for Postman’s Hacktoberfest through this form. Our community is also active on Discord, so all updates will always be shared there.


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