[Owasp-leaders] Thinking out Loud: Evaluating Talent

Ofer Maor ofer.maor at owasp.org
Mon Nov 9 03:23:00 EST 2009

This is exactly why I think we should seriously consider doing it as part of
OWASP, and not throw it on a commercial group that would just look to how
they can profit from it rather than keeping it credible. When it becomes
commercial, all the certifier is interested in, past the point they reach a
certain branding, is to sell as much as they can.  However, we can probably
team up with some vendors that could do the work (and make some profit out
if it), as long as the quality is regulated by OWASP. 


In any case, I'm looking forward to hear what are the outcomes of the DC
Summit. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend, but I'll keep track J






From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org
[mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of daniel cuthbert
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 9:33 AM
To: owasp-leaders at lists.owasp.org
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] Thinking out Loud: Evaluating Talent


The CISSP comes to mind, it's not exactly the most respected cert available
in this industry of ours, alongside the CEH.

It can be done, however, a careful balance between what the candidate knows
and needs to know has to be struck. There is no point having a certification
that isn't respected by all for being too much of a mickey mouse fan club

Partnering with an organisation to take care of the logistical nightmare of
the certification process is a must. The actual developing of training
content and exam questions isn't that hard, it's something i've been doing
for the past 5 years and have a fair whack of experience with. 

2009/11/9 Eoin <eoin.keary at owasp.org>

Agreed, certification is an expensive investment to set up which would
require a full-time resource. Best to partner with a third party on this but
which one? Exclusivity deals do not give me a comfortable feeling.

Making a "migs picky" of this would not do OWASP any favors, it's a one shot


It can easily go to two extremes (I've seen both); 

Either the certification is a joke, too easy, not realistic and a weak
barometer of what we are trying to do OR it can be too hard, pass rate is
very low, appropriate support for examinations is low and therefore uptake
shall be minimal also.



(see u in DC?)




2009/11/7 Stephen Craig Evans <stephencraig.evans at gmail.com>


>From my experience, I can contribute to OWASP in spurts and short
stints. Except for some titans that continuously toil tirelessly for
OWASP, I think that many other contributors are the same as me.

Taking care of certification in any form requires a continuous effort
which does not lend itself to bursts of work. I would think that to be
successful, there would have to be a commercial wing of OWASP with
paid workers which is not a bad thing at all, it's just that we
already have so many open and unfinished endeavors as it is.

Just my $0.02 worth,

On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 8:12 PM, Seba <seba at owasp.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> We have been talking about this for some months now within the Education
> Committee.
> ISC2 even approached us with a very concrete proposal to set up a
> certification (besides CSSLP), but we do not want to set up one
> certification scheme.
> Therefore we came up with the idea to have an OWASP 'certification
> framework' where we define the criteria and potential 'body if knowledge'
> for 3rd party organisations to certify developers and other actors in the
> This certification framework is one point we want to discuss with you
> the upcoming GEC workshop at the DC Summit
> http://www.owasp.org/index.php/Summit_2009
> regards
> Seba
> On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM, John Wilander <john.wilander at owasp.org>
> wrote:
>> 2009/11/7 Ofer Maor <ofer.maor at owasp.org>
>> I definitely think this market is starting to be mature enough and big
>> enough to call for a serious certification. And I think OWASP is the
>> body to it. There are already chapters all around the world to help
>> this, and I think we should push for such certification, and urge
>> to require all testers who work for them to have this certification.
>> The problem exists and gives a lot of pain to customers who hire
>> consultants. I've had customers who wanted our help in assessing
>> appsec skills along with other project requirements such as documented
>> threat modeling, the use of a code escrow, and more.
>> There have been discussions previously on this list. It seems the OWASP
>> leaders are divided into people who say "Why don't we take on the
>> responsibility to define what a pentester and an appsec aware developer
>> should know?" and people who say "OWASP is open and welcoming for newbies
>> well as the planet's finest. We should not become judges over
>> Apart from that there have been a number of practical issues.
>> * Should we cooperate with an established assessment provider such as
>> Prometric?
>> * Should OWASP provide taylormade training for the certification?
>> * Can we require chapter leaders to manage this on a
>> local/regional/national level without paying them?
>> * Should we cooperate or even try to merge with existing certifications
>> such as GSSP or CSSLP?
>> Personally, I like the idea of an independent OWASP certifications
>> (perhaps two - one for developers and one for testers). But I'm not sure
>> we should deal with the practical issues.
>>    Regards, John (Sweden)
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Eoin Keary

OWASP Code Review Guide Lead Author
OWASP Ireland Chapter Lead
OWASP Global Committee Member (Industry)


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