What project or projects do you maintain and what was your motivation for creating those projects and releasing them as open source software?

The biggest project that I created and I am maintaining right now is the OSSU-CS (Open Source Society University - Computer Science).

OSSU-CS is a path to a free self-taught education in Computer Science. We have more than 6k students registered in our web app and reached more than 17k stars on GitHub!

OSS (Open Source Society) is the organization that I created to hold several open initiatives, and we have the pleasure to also have paths to Data Science and Bioinformatics education.

My biggest motivation to create OSSU was the frustration with the current state of education in general.

Formal education has its value for sure, but personally I can learn better and in a much more enjoyable way if I am able to control how much time I want to spend with the resources that I have, going slower or faster, depending on my current possibilities. It’s a “zero stress” approach IMO.

If you created any of those projects, were they meant to solve a specific problem you faced, or were they born out of a larger opportunity you saw?

More than Open Source software, I like to build “Open initiatives”. What does it mean? That I always create open projects when I have some necessity because those projects can potentially be helpful for other people facing the same problems.

A great point about such approach is that we can collaboratively help each other.

So I usually create projects to solve a specific problem that I’m facing.

How has the project evolved since you first got involved or first released it?

OSSU really exceeded all my expectations. From a single markdown file, we have now more than 17k stars on GitHub and more than 6k students enrolled in our web app only in the Computer Science, with potential to grow a lot more.

I have plans to invest time enforcing our community with a newsletter and blog for example, and also improve our application with more features, supporting the other courses that we already have as well.

How do you spend your time on those projects? (i.e. Developing, managing the community, triaging issues, etc.)

Saying about OSSU and all other projects that I have on GitHub, during the week I set blocks of time (in pomodoros - blocks of 25min) for each one to add more content/features. During the week I also follow what the community have been talking and during the weekend I deal with the issues.


  • Developing: all mornings in the week
  • Community: during the week
  • Issues: mostly on weekends

How would you describe the community around projects you participate in? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects?

Although we have a considerable amount of enrolled students and stars on GitHub, our community is in its first steps, but we do have some notable contributors that help a lot.

My favorite aspect is being able to see people helping each other in a respectful, inclusive and supportive way.

The least favorite aspect… Well, I can’t figure out something, to be honest.

What keeps you involved in those projects? Do you have long-term plans for maintaining your involvement?

I love projects related to education and I also love how many amazing resources we have for free in our field. I truly feel a necessity to contribute and give something back.

You know, we use a bunch of open source frameworks, libraries, plugins, software in general and we have an enormous amount of articles available to learn, it is really inspiring to me, and I really admire who dedicate some time to do such things.

Until I die (and even after such transition), I really hope to be active and being contributing to the open source community :D

What is the most important thing someone submitting an issue or patch should know?

Well, in this topic we don’t have mistery:

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What’s your development environment right now?

I am using an Acer Aspire v3 notebook with an external monitor LG 29’’ 29UM67-P.

I use Vim as my code editor with these plugins.

Other softwares I use regularly are Google Chrome, Toggl (to track how much time I spent in my daily tasks), Brain Focus (pomodoro Android app), Trello (to manage everything in my life), Raindrop (to save links) and SimpleScreenRecorder (Linux app to record the screen).

What was your first development environment? Do you miss anything from it?

I actually don’t remember but I think it was a machine with Windows 7 and the Notepad++ as the code editor xD This is everything I can remember (and yet I’m not sure, let’s say that to memorize isn’t my best skill haha).

I don’t miss anything from my first development environment but it would be nice to have more software available for Linux.

Where do you see the open source software community headed?

It is notorious that, at least in the web development field, we are totally dependent on the open source software so it just tends to be bigger and more concise than it already is.

What I would really like to see are more companies that rely on OSS starting to have the conscious to give something in return to the community in some way. You know, it is easy to consume everything that is in front of us, but we should also remember that if we don’t help to maintain such initiatives, people will just get burned out and all of us will loose.

Eric Douglas's Projects: