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Training

Zeek Project Approved Training Framework

Objective

The aim of this document is to define the guidelines of operation for the Zeek Project Approved Training Framework, and the step-by-step processes involved in the framework. The objective of the Zeek Approved training program is to provide a framework to the community to get Zeek training content approved by the Zeek Project which can be used as Zeek approved training material. This effort aims to kickstart the program and is expected to get updated with new improvements as it is rolled out to the community based on the feedback and lessons learned as the framework matures.

Benefits of getting training content Zeek Approved

One might think “what are the benefits of going through the vetting process and getting the training Zeek Approved”? There are many benefits, which include:

  • Authors will get a chance to get their training vetted by Zeek experts in the field which will increase the value and credibility of their training. 
  • Contributors will be able to use the Zeek Approved training official logos on their training materials, to help promote their training to the audience showing the quality of the content of their training materials. 
  • Once approved, the training will be listed on the central training hub that Zeek Project maintains on Zeek project’s official site, which will increase the visibility and use of the training. 

We have tried to make the vetting process easy and interactive so that authors can get feedback on their training from the experts interactively, and tips on how to improve it and get Zeek Approved.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the training@zeek.org mailing list, which is actively being used by the community to stay tuned with the latest in the Training area of Zeek Project.

Guidelines for the Submission process

The following section discusses the guidelines to follow for submitting a training to get it approved through the Zeek Approved Training program and get it published on the Zeek project’s training repository.

For submission of the training materials, the authors are requested to fill out a webform to submit the training materials. Once submitted the author will receive a confirmation that the training has been successfully submitted.

Guidelines for the Vetting process

The following are key considerations for vetting training material and other considerations that training authors should evaluate to have their submissions accepted for approved training. These considerations will have an impact on overall rating of the training and get points according to the inclusion of “should/preferred/recommended” considerations, i.e. a training including “preferred/recommended” considerations will get more points and greater chances of getting approved :

  • Categorization –
    • Authors should provide information regarding the target audience (or level of the training), such as: Beginner, Experienced, Advanced [In the Submission form]
    • Reviewers will also vote on the level of training depending on the content, and will be shared with the author once the review is complete [In the Rating Form]
  • Training content considerations – 
    • The training must not be a pitch for a proprietary or commercial product.
    • The resources used in the training material should be referencing the contents that are available open and free to the public. (ex: try.zeek.org, pcaps, scripts, Zeek official documentation)
    • Ease of access for the users – Setting up the training environments should be easy and can be followed without any problems for the users using the training on their own
    • Use of popular platforms like containers (ex. OSes {CentOS, Ubuntu, FreeBSD} ), if applicable
    • Overall training content scope and coverage from ease of network setup, going over the training, and teaching Zeek with use-cases, if applicable.
    • Freshness of the content and using up-to-date versions of Zeek and other software.
    • Licensing of the material – Creative Commons license or the BSD license is preferred to be added to the material.
  • Availability/Accessibility – 
    • Recommended to consider Section 504 ADA act – Accessibility for people with disabilities. For a comprehensive list of disability laws and acts by country please refer to this document.
    • Training should be made available to everyone

Guidelines for Reviewers Selection

The members from the Zeek Project team will be assigned as reviewers for training submissions, who will go through the training material and provide their ratings and feedback. A minimum of three reviewers will be selected for every submission. Every training has to get a minimum of two approvals to get Zeek Project approval.

Furthermore, we might adopt a policy to open up the reviewing of the submissions to Zeek community members, nominated by the Zeek Project team, as well as ask for the volunteers from the community, who have been active members and have expertise in the subject matter. 

The estimated timeline for the reviewer selection process is approximately a week, in normal circumstances.

Guidelines for Rating and Decision

A webform will be provided to each reviewer to rate the submitted training for Zeek Approved branding. The webform will consist of questions involving the areas mentioned in the “Guidelines for the vetting process” section to rate the training on those individual points. The webform will consist of qualitative (yes/no based) as well as quantitative (rating on a scale of 0-10 or 0-5) questions, depending on the area being vetted. It also will include a “Not-Applicable” choice for the reviewers for marking a training not applicable for the approval process.

A decision will be made once the reviewers submit their ratings through the webform. Based on the final ratings from all reviewers (a minimum of three), the training will be either approved to be officially branded as Zeek Project Approved training or will be a candidate for improvements and considered for re-submission.

Also, for any missing Zeek documentation/functionalities reported by author or by reviewers, while reviewing training material, will be reported to the Zeek Project’s Documentation/Testing teams to get updated. 

The estimated timeline for the ratings and decision process is approximately two weeks, in normal circumstances.

Guidelines for Feedback and Re-submission

The reviewers will be asked to provide mandatory feedback on the training, including strong points, weak points and how it can be improved, independent of the decision, and the same will be communicated back to the authors after the completion of the review process. For the trainings considered as “Not-Applicable”, the feedback will be provided to the authors explaining the reason and whether it will become eligible for a re-submission. 

The communication channel will be the email address mentioned by the author in the submission as the preferred method to contact for communications related to the training approval process. For training that will need further improvements and a re-submission, more interactive methods of communication may be used where the reviewers can talk with the author about specific issues.

The overall timeline of the approval process is expected to be 30 business days* from the day of the submission to the decision and feedback shared with the author.

*Note: The timeline is a rough estimate of how long in general it would take for the process to be completed, in normal scenarios.

Guidelines for Publishing and Logo Usage

After the training has been approved, the Zeek Project Approved training logo will be provided to the author, to use on their training material – on the first and the last slide or page of the material. Additionally, the author will be provided with the Zeek PPT templates/color palettes, if the author wishes to use it for their training materials. 

The author will be asked to update the training material for the same. 

The Zeek Project Approved training will be listed on the official Zeek Project’s hosted site where all the approved training materials will be listed and linked to their original source. This will become the future de-facto hub to direct community members to find all Zeek approved training materials in a single location.

Zeek Project Approval seal and logo will have the Zeek version and the year the training got approved. The authors can keep using their approved training and logo as long as they want, or they can consider re-submitting their training with updates whenever there is a new Zeek release, if applicable, following the same process to get approved and get a new seal/logo again. 

The authors using their approved training will also be given a zeek.org URL, to refer to the exact dates when the training was approved, to use everywhere they will be using the Zeek approved logo. The URL will be hosted on the Zeek project’s central repo where the training listing will be hosted. 

Zeek Project Approved Logo designs:

Following are the designs of the samples of the logos to be used for the materials that get approved by Zeek Project Approved training FW. Logo #2 will be provided to authors to use in their training material, and #1 will be provided to make some swag for the training events.

#1 T-shirt logo

#2 Training material logo