[Owasp-board] A New Projects Model

Jim Manico jim.manico at owasp.org
Sat Apr 12 04:45:29 UTC 2014

+1 I like it Josh and it merits further consideration, for sure.

Jim Manico
(808) 652-3805

On Apr 11, 2014, at 1:05 PM, Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org> wrote:

This model encourages exactly what you want.  Dedicated time and resources
on the things that matter most and less of a focus on all of that other
stuff that is positive but ultimately detracts from the truly revolutionary
projects.  We've turned into a parking lot for mediocrity and spent
precious time and money teying to support the masses rather than the core
that matters.  We need extraordinary and can't get there supporting 177

On Apr 11, 2014 5:48 PM, "Jim Manico" <jim.manico at owasp.org> wrote:

> My concern is that "official" OWASP projects should need to be updated,
> documented, maintained with good email list support, and not have critical
> security bugs in them in order to be an "official" OWASP project of any
> kind. That's it.
> I don't think many people realize how much we undermine our mission when
> developers try to use three of our code flagship projects that have major
> security bugs, are no longer supported, or are built from incredibly weak
> concepts or architectures.
> What I have done to counter balance this is to support the construction of
> several hard core production quality and perfromant secure coding
> components that could have a major impact on the world if supported by the
> foundation. I don't care about titles really, I just want developers to be
> able to visit OWASP, grab clear guides and tools to help them write secure
> code. I am not trying to tout myself here. "I don't need money, don't need
> fame, dont need no credit card to ride this train."
> I'm trying to serve the mission. In a very production quality way that few
> other code projects meet. And it's hard work over several years by very
> senior developers building this stuff. It should not be an uphill battle,
> it should be a water-slide. Instead, every time I've approached "projects"
> I'm told I'm having a tantrum and all my counsel is ignored.
> The reason I'm so loud lately is because I'm on the verge of walking away.
> OWASP is not serving the mission, it's a conference circuit with slap-dash
> project management, and I feel we have struggles with several staff issues.
> Any another thing, I was grinding at the podcast for years, and then
> someone took it over, added a commercial to it and started getting paid to
> do so, and no one batted an eye. This is not cool and it's against the
> vendor neutrality we are supposed to stand for.
> So yea, screw this and the general lack of integrity that makes up the
> organization. I might make mistakes in communication but I'll put my OWASP
> work ethic and integrity up against anyone and stand proud.
> Anyone can dump some shitty college project at OWASP and call themselves a
> project leader and walk away. That's bullshit. It takes a real man (or
> woman) to deeply support a project over time, and they should be recognized
> and supported for those efforts.
> --
> Jim Manico
> @Manicode
> (808) 652-3805
> On Apr 11, 2014, at 3:22 PM, Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org> wrote:
> Board,
> It's clear that our current model for OWASP Projects isn't working.  I
> don't think that you can place blame on any one person or entity.  Do the
> math for a second.
> 40 hrs in a week x 60 minutes in an hour / 177 projects = <14 mins per
> project per week
> Do you really think that any project manager can make headway on 177
> projects given less than 14 minutes a week of time to spend on any one
> project?  Most of the e-mails that I write take more time than that.  And
> that's in addition to everything else that we've assigned to that role.  As
> we grow this problem is going to get worse and worse.  We need to address
> this issue head on by evolving our projects model.  Now, I can't claim to
> have been intimately involved in projects as many of you have in the past
> and present.  I also can't claim to have all of the answers.  But I do feel
> strongly that the current model will not scale and we've felt the pain for
> quite a while.  Hiring Samantha to manage projects was a temporary bandage,
> but we need a change in direction to ultimately stop the bleeding.
> Far be it from me to present a problem without a solution so I'm going to
> give it my best.  It's just an idea at this point and it's not fully
> vetted, but hey, that's what a Board is for, right?  To work together,
> create a new vision, and hand off to our staff to execute.
> *The Proposal:*
> We forget about trying to classify projects into buckets based on a level
> of maturity.  Instead, projects are effectively one of two things:
> 1) An OWASP Project: This is a project owned and maintained by OWASP.
> Features should be directed by the community via a up/down voting system a
> la reddit.  Work on the project can be paid or unpaid.  These should be
> projects of massive value not only to OWASP, but to the security community
> and even the world.  We should spend 95% of our project time and resources
> here because this is where the rubber meets the road.  We should be pimping
> the shit out of these.
> 2) Everything Else: These are cool ideas that OWASP supports.  When they
> submit, we give them some basic classification questions to figure out why
> a security professional would want to use them.  We create a system to
> search and sort these tools.  We help to pimp them when possible, but
> direction, vision, etc is driven by the individual project leads.  The only
> real requirement here is that the project is open source.  It doesn't even
> have to live on our servers.  We're effectively an index for these and do
> little more than that.  Maybe we track a last update or level of activity
> or something, but nothing more.
> All a project needs to do is submit a simple form and be verified as
> having the proper licensing/source availability to be listed on our site.
> This should be easily manageable and scalable as we're just managing new
> submissions, not existing projects.  If one of those #2 projects ever
> decides that they are done running by themselves and wants #1 status, they
> can donate their code to OWASP and a technical council would give it a
> thumbs up or down as to whether it belongs in #1 project bucket.  The
> question ultimately being whether it's a project that is visionary and
> benefits the world at large or something solving some smaller corner case
> issue.
> Under this model we can certainly have stakeholders, but the true owners
> of any OWASP project is the community.  The model provides recognition to
> all, but allows us to put our eggs in the basket with the tools that matter
> the most.  It helps to prioritize resources and allows the community to set
> the vision and direction of OWASP.
> So, what do you think?  I realize that this is a big time change in
> direction, but it's well in line with our mission and builds on our
> strengths rather than allowing us to skate along with our weaknesses.  I'm
> interested in your feedback.
> ~josh
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