[Owasp-board] [Governance] Stepping down from Project Reviews

Josh Sokol josh.sokol at owasp.org
Wed Sep 2 18:37:09 UTC 2015


Lucas,

My experience when I ran the OWASP Austin Chapter was actually quite
different.  If I had a need, and asked for it, it usually was totally
within the realm of possibility.  Maybe it's because this was many years
ago and before we had an official Executive Director and most of the staff
and significant growth.  Maybe it was because it was a Chapter.  I don't
really know.  But, it saddens me to hear that you've had these experiences
with working with projects because that's not, at least to my
understanding, the way it's supposed to work.  I've witnessed significant
community funds on both the Chapter side and Project side go unused every
year.  So, to hear that your needs, ones that fall within the realm of
"reasonable" as I understand it, aren't being met makes me sad.  Are you
following the process outlined in the Community Engagement page (
https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Funding) when requesting the funds and
still being turned down?  Was the answer simply "No" or was there an
explanation for it?  One of the ideas that I've proposed is that anyone at
OWASP can budget for their ideas and as long as we can handle it as part of
our Foundation budgeting process, it would get approved as reserved funds
for that purpose.  Would that approach be reasonable or were all of these
activities things where there was an opportunity cost in not executing at
that time?  Can you send me the documentation (e-mails?  support tickets?
etc.) for the issues that you're referencing?  I've heard a lot of
"Projects can't get funding" talk in the past, but this is the first I've
seen someone point to a specific initiative that they asked for support on
and were told "no".  I would like to investigate it further and figure out
why that was.  If things are working as you describe, then that is not ok,
and I agree that things need to be changed.

~josh

On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 10:42 AM, Lucas Ferreira <lucas.ferreira at owasp.org>
wrote:

> Josh,
>
> I certainly cannot speak for all Projects, but every time I tried to get
> the things I needed for a project, I got either a deny or a big silence. so
> the first thing needed is, if there is money available, more communication
> and an easy way to get to it.
>
> I will put here my experience. Others can say if they face similar issues
> or not.
>
> First, as part of the
> https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Brasil_Manifesto, I tried to get
> money to pay for a professional public relations person/company to help us
> promote the manifesto to the Brazilian congress. I learnt the hard way
> (from organizing AppSec conferences) that a good PR person can make a real
> difference. At the time, I asked for USD 2600 to pay the PR but could not
> get the money.
>
> Second, as part of
> https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_File_Hash_Repository, I needed a
> server to use to deploy the initial code and help collecting data. I also
> needed a DNS entry. I ended up paying for the VM myself and used my own
> private domain for the DNS because I could not get it from OWASP.
>
> Lastly, as part of
> https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Portuguese_Language_Project, we
> tried to get money to hire translators and professional writers to work
> with the more tech oriented volunteers with no luck.
>
> In summary, my experience in getting money or support for OWASP projects
> is bad. IMHO, this is why so many projects die.
>
> And just to be sure, unlike Johanna, I think money is a big issue as it
> could be used to remove some of the load from volunteers. An example is the
> translation projects: we could leverage the knowledge of our network of
> volunteers, without requiring them to do all the work, by relying on
> professional services. So, the issue is to have money to buy the services
> needed by the projects, from VMs to professional services.
>
> And lastly, I did not compare Chapters and Projects. I did compare the
> treatment that they get from OWASP.
>
> Regards,
>
> Lucas
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 5:06 PM Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org> wrote:
>
>> I believe Johanna said "It's not about money".  Every time I hear someone
>> say that it is, I cringe a little because I know that we allocated $50,000
>> in Community Engagement Funding this year to projects alone and have
>> $15,650 of that remaining (
>> https://owasp.org/index.php/Community_Engagement_-_Payments).  I also
>> know that if there's a need that goes beyond what is budgeted, we have ways
>> to make that happen outside of this channel.  For example, when Dinis asked
>> for $100,000 for a Project Summit, we said "Give us a plan and we'll
>> discuss."
>>
>> I also cringe when I hear people compare the Projects to the Chapters or
>> vice versa.  They are both unique and important to OWASP.  Both have needs
>> that we need to satisfy.  Chapters have historically been more successful
>> in fundraising because of the large volume of people involved with them,
>> but that doesn't make them better or worse.  Just different.  Let's be
>> honest, the Chapter model of fundraising doesn't really work for Projects.
>> That's ok...we just need to find other ways.
>>
>> So, let's assume that money is not an issue.  What are the needs that our
>> Projects have that OWASP is not currently fulfilling.  I don't claim to be
>> an expert on Projects.  I don't routinely work with them and the one
>> project that I tried to start at OWASP died a very quick death.  It was an
>> issue with time and volunteerism, though, and had nothing to do with the
>> OWASP platform.  I understand and agree that it's not about things you can
>> get for free like GitHub or wiki pages.  So, what is it?  What do you
>> need?  We have an in-house graphic designer.  We have companies that we
>> work with for publishing.  We hired a full-time person to help with
>> projects.  If there are needs that aren't being met here, then what are
>> they?  What can OWASP do to make Projects more successful?
>>
>> ~josh
>>
>> On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 9:39 AM, Lucas Ferreira <lucas.ferreira at owasp.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Dear Johanna,
>>>
>>> it is very sad that you are stepping down, but you nailed it when you
>>> said:
>>>
>>> "I hope that in the future there is a clear perspective how to help
>>> projects develop better. So far I have not seen major initiatives directed
>>> on improving a platform. A platform is not a wiki page, not a github
>>> account, these things are already free without OWASP support."
>>>
>>> For a long time already, I have the same feeling that OWASP is always
>>> discussing about chapters and their bank accounts and never about projects.
>>> I just hope one day OWASP will be able to see that projects are what makes
>>> OWASP known and respected.
>>>
>>> I have talked to a few leaders of open-source projects about bringing
>>> their projects to OWASP and, in the end, the feeling is that all they would
>>> get is the ability to benefit from the OWASP "brand". We should offer
>>> project leaders more than the opportunity to beg chapters for money.
>>>
>>> Regards and good luck,
>>>
>>> Lucas
>>>
>>> On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 4:19 PM johanna curiel curiel <
>>> johanna.curiel at owasp.org> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Members of the board ,
>>>>
>>>> I have decided to step down from the project reviews activities.
>>>>
>>>> I have been doing continues reviews the last 2 years, especially the
>>>> last year I was quite involved in a major clean up in the project
>>>> inventory, together with other members that participated in and on/off
>>>> basis.
>>>>
>>>> That does not mean I'll step down from every activity I have been
>>>> working on the last years at OWASP. Indeed, now I'll focus my attention in
>>>> those activities that I feel have provided me with higher level of reward
>>>> and a grateful feeling.
>>>>
>>>> Unfortunately,  I cannot say the same for reviewing projects. The
>>>> greatest reward I had from that activity is what I learned from many
>>>> project for the last 2 years, not just looking, but download , testing and
>>>> using them and volunteering on their activities.
>>>>
>>>>  It is a ticklish activity that have provided me very little
>>>> satisfaction but disappointment. Never seems to be enough even when people
>>>> have little idea how much time is needed to use an open source project ,
>>>> let alone understand it. I'm a volunteer , not an OWASP employee. Lets
>>>> clarify that for people that might read this.
>>>>
>>>> I think Claudia  , as her predecessor, Kait-Disney did, can surely help
>>>> maintain inactive/active projects monitoring. Another ticklish activity
>>>> that we hear many complains regarding inactive projects wanted to keep
>>>> alive. Political driven necessities to have wiki pages of empty projects,
>>>> thats what we finished and hope you can continue for the sake of users.
>>>>
>>>> The actual situation is that Project leaders are definitely on their
>>>> own, and they should understand that: when it comes to having a platform at
>>>> OWASP for developing projects, they have very little support on this.
>>>>
>>>> It's not about money, is about a platform, a process and a way to be
>>>> able to make a project a reality no matter if you are in India, Pakistan,
>>>> or Africa. The inequality between these worlds is very obvious when we look
>>>> at  projects in US or EU compare to 'developing countries'. Big security
>>>> companies are not behind these leaders  to support them with time or
>>>> resources.
>>>>
>>>> I hope that in the future there is a clear perspective how to help
>>>> projects develop better. So far I have not seen major initiatives directed
>>>> on improving a platform. A platform is not a wiki page, not a github
>>>> account, these things are already free without OWASP support.
>>>>
>>>> I think people hoping to secure their web applications using OWASP
>>>> tools, can have better ways for doing it if more energy is directed towards
>>>> supporting a better structure for developing OWASP projects.
>>>>
>>>> This is where my energy will be from now on. Hopefully with the right
>>>> support.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Regards
>>>>
>>>> Johanna
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Governance mailing list
>>>> Governance at lists.owasp.org
>>>> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/governance
>>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Governance mailing list
>>> Governance at lists.owasp.org
>>> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/governance
>>>
>>>
>>
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