There are many ways you can contribute to OWASP SAMM. The quickest and easiest way to do it is to simply provide feedback using one of the methods described in our Feedback Page.

If you would like to help us by making content contributions please review the following guide, which will help you learn the basics of working with Git and ensure your contributions find the way to the model as quickly as possible.

Please, take time to review this guide before making contributions, it will help you avoid a lot of frustrations.


What is Git?

Git is a Version Control System (VCS). On a very basic level, there are two awesome things a VCS allows you to do: You can track changes in your files, and it simplifies working on files and projects with multiple people. There are multiple Version Control Systems, but Git is by far and large the most popular.

In order to contribute content you will need to learn a few basic Git commands

This guide will walk you through the minimal commands you need to learn to contribute to OWASP SAMM and we encourage you to continue your journey in learning more about this indispensable development tool.

What is Hugo?

Hugo is an open-source static site generator we have chosen to use for maintaining OWASP SAMM. It allows us to work directly through Github and enables regenerating the framework after each approved change.

The most important aspect of Hugo for this purpose is to make note of the locations of files that could be updated

Getting Started

Setting up your environment

Before you can contribute to the project you should create an account on Github.

Step 1 - Fork the repository

To do this, go to our Repository and click the “Fork” button in the top-right corner.

This will create a copy of the repository in your account.

Step 2 - Clone the repository

Now clone (download) the repository to your machine. Click on the clone button and then click the copy to clipboard icon.

Once copied, use the following command to clone the repository on your machine:

git clone

This will create a directory called samm on your local machine, which is where you will be making the changes.

Step 3 - Create a branch

The main copy or branch of the git repository is called master, which is what will be activated after the repository is cloned. However, we do not allow making changes directly in this branch as it’s used for generating our website and the SAMM model. Therefore, each contribution should be made within a dedicated branch, allowing us to review and test each change before it’s merged into the master. To do this, execute the following command:

git checkout -b <branch-name>

The branch name should follow the following naming convention:


Change Types

  • minor - To be used for simple changes such as grammar or spelling fixes, or other changes that do not impact the competency of the model
  • major - To be used for all changes that impact the model, but do not impact how the maturity is scored, such as supplemental guidance or enhancements to activity descriptions
  • scoring - Changes to the model that impact how the model is scored, such as changes that impact the questionnaire, model structure, or other significant components of SAMM

Therefore, a branch name for a spelling fix might look something like: minor-yk-spelling-governance

Step 4 - Make changes

Now you can make changes to the model using your favorite text editor without fearing breaking the website.

Editable Directories in Hugo

  • samm/Current Releases/head/core - This directory hosts markdown files containing descriptions of activities
  • samm/Website/hugo/data - This directory hosts YAML files containing data-driven elements of SAMM, such as questions and scoring attributes

Please, do not make changes outside of the directories above without speaking to a member of the core team

Step 5 - Commit / Push

Once changes have been made and saved locally, it’s time to push the changes (including the new branch) to the repository, which will allow a member of the core team to review and merge into the master branch. To do this, first you need to identify files you would like to add (stage) to the commit process by executing:

git add <filename>

Alternatively, to add all changed files you can execute:

git add .

Next, we commit changes by executing:

git commit -m "<Brief comments describing the changes"

Finally, we push or save changes back to Github by executing;

git push origin <branch-name>

Step 6 - Submitting changes for review

Now that your changes have been saved on Github, the last step is to submit these changes for review. To do this, login to Github, and in the samm repository you should see the Compare & pull request button next to your name branch.

Once clicked, Github will prompt you for any additional comments following which the request can be submitted using the Create pull request button.

Step 7 - Cleaning up

Before you make any other contributions, you may want to switch back to the master branch by executing:

git checkout master

Then you can delete your local branch (since it’s already been submitted) by executing:

git branch -d <branch-name>

And finally you can always synchronize or update from the master by executing:

git pull

This is meant to be a light introduction to using Git with OWASP SAMM. Please, consult Google should you run into any issues. There are also a number of IDEs like VS Code that can help automate many of the steps outlined above.