[Owasp-board] Update - CFT Issue re:PCI training via OWASP

Josh Sokol josh.sokol at owasp.org
Thu May 7 20:36:47 UTC 2015

I tend to agree with Jim, albeit for slightly different reasons and I'm not
really sure it makes sense to shut it down if we've already agreed to terms
on this.  I'm generally unconcerned about OWASP putting out a CFT for
training as we do it all the time for conferences or other events like the
one in NYC not too long ago.  The method of sending it out to all mailing
lists was a bit unorthodox, but that's beside the point.  My concern is
around the "openness" factor.  To me at least, having an open webinar does
not equate to having access to training material content and a trainer.
The major difference is that this is NOT an open training.  We are not
reserving a room someplace and putting out an open call for trainers based
on addressing a desire from the community.  We have a private entity
requesting a private training and are then trying to make up for that by
having them offer a webinar as well.  It's not the same thing.  Not by a
long shot.  If a training program like this were to succeed amongst the
OWASP values then it should go something like this:

1) A set of training materials is donated to OWASP as part of a new
project.  Those materials are open source and open to community

2) OWASP sets a date and location for a training, perhaps based on a
need/request, and puts out a public call for a trainer to facilitate using
the training materials in #1.  Any supplemental materials the trainer would
like to include would need to be contributed to the project for use by
future trainers.

3) The selection of the trainer needs to happen via an impartial group of
people using an unbiased methodology.

4) A public sign-up is initiated to fill slots for the training.

This is ground that we need to tread very lightly as we run the risk of
competing against the very companies that fund us, making us a security
vendor as Jim pointed out, and putting us in the position where we can no
longer claim to be vendor-neutral.  At conferences, trainers propose the
content and then the planners select what they think the attendees would
like to attend.  It scares me that we equate that to a private company
selecting the topic, filling up all slots, and then selecting a trainer to
teach the content.


On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 3:10 PM, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org> wrote:

> Paul,
> I would like to shut this down because it makes us a security vendor. We
> do not want to be that. We want to be an open source company where all of
> our materials and projects are free. To support our strategic goal I
> suggest we build free training materials for all to use.
> ••• I admit I am biased because I am a professional trainer and will
> excuse myself from any vote on this or other training issues.
> Regards,
> --
> Jim Manico
> @Manicode
> (808) 652-3805
> On May 7, 2015, at 1:04 PM, Paul Ritchie <paul.ritchie at owasp.org> wrote:
> To OWASP Board Group List:
> I'm pleased to see a healthy discussion and strong viewpoints about
> Training since this is one of our continuing Strategic Goals for 2015.  Let
> me provide some 'first hand' information about this CFT.
> Specifically, this opportunity came from a company who 'knows about OWASP'
> and knows and respects our 'quality & style' of training.
> They wanted some PCI training for their developers and their "end user
> service reps" and they wanted OWASP to provide the training, not one of the
> other commercial entities.
> As we evaluating this, we determined it met several of our key goals and
> objectives, so we decided to run it as a pilot or trial to see how it
> worked out for the Community and OWASP.  Does it meet our Core valules?   Open?
> - check, Innovative? - check, Global? - check, Done w/Integrity? - check.
> 1.  It meets the Training goal, and more specifically it provides training
> to ~125 Developers as well as ~1,000 customer service reps.
> 2.  To keep opportunities 'open' we decided to make a broad Call For
> Trainer, like we do at our AppSec Conferences.
> 3.  To ensure the content was not exclusive, we required the open webinar
> training to be produced
> 4.  We are not providing any sort of "certification" for the training -
> it is knowledge sharing only.
> 5.  We have 3 submissions already under the CFT, and more than half a
> dozen community members who volunteered to be on the content review team.
> 6.  Background -- There has been discussion for many years about
> leveraging a paid training program that was modeled after the successful
> conference style training, as a possible revenue stream for the
> Foundation.  Many leaders have supported this in the past.  The conference
> style model was attempted in a couple of different places ( Denver and NY)
> with mixed results.  This is a sort of hybrid - on a small scale - to see
> how it works.
> Again, I'm encouraged by all the healthy discussion on Training, and I
> acknowledge the strong opinions on this topic.  In summary, this
> opportunity popped up, we were able to structure it to meet our goals,
> objectives & policies, so we are investing time & resource to 'test' this
> new and innovative approach.
> You are welcome to reach out to me or Kate with questions.  Kate is
> closest to this program and she can connect you with other leaders working
> on this as needed.
> Best Regards, Paul Ritchie
> OWASP Executive Director
> paul.ritchie at owasp.org
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