Platform Genesis

Where did this idea come from ?

What should a community mentoring hub look like ? It really depends on what that platform sets out to achieve. If you look at established and existing sites such as Stack Overflow, Quora, Reddit, and the thousands of others, they all have one thing in common – community. So what does Phenomlab provide that these other well established sites don’t ?

Good question. Read on.

Here’s the difference. I’m a self confessed technology geek, and it’s also how I make my living. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a wealth of information, experience, knowledge, headaches, and my fair share of late nights resolving issues all related to the very technology we use on a daily basis. Now that I have that knowledge, I’d like to use it as a way of “giving something back” – something that can benefit other people. My career in information technology spans over 25 years. Over that time, I’ve met some truly gifted people with both a passion for what they do, and a unique ability to both explain and implement solutions that benefit businesses and individuals alike. This isn’t restricted to information technology either. I’ve worked with some amazing talent over my career, and really wished that a platform existed where that knowledge could be leveraged to its full potential – effectively, providing others the opportunity to gain access to a virtual mentor.

So what’s wrong here ?

I realised something was missing, and a void needed to be filled to create a platform that allowed access to positive mentoring. A consortium. A collective. Call it what you want, it’s the same regardless of approach. I wanted to bring my skill set to those less fortunate than me, and it was at this point that I decided to create a community platform that everyone can use to gain access to information, advice – even an opportunity to put an expert on the spot and ask questions about the subjects that matter to you. Who wouldn’t want access to that ?

The scope was simple. The platform needed to be like a VIP party, but with all the entry requirements removed. It needed to attract questions and answers from all industries that leverage information technology. You’ve heard the term “if you’re name’s not down, you’re not coming in” ? This doesn’t apply here. The doors of the Phenomlab platform are open to everyone who has an interest in technology itself, and the surrounding forces that drive that same technology in the direction that businesses and individuals need, or regulatory requirements dictate.

So what exactly is this platform ?

It’s an open source Q and A, creativity, and collaboration hub. It’s a place for novices, intermediates, geeks and experts alike. Phenomlab makes no distinction, and actively encourages you to engage in discussion around the topics that matter to you. I don’t care if your questions relate to an issue with a production server or network you currently have, or if you’re looking for assistance around securing an IoT device. As an additional plus, I won’t mock your ability, pour scorn on any questions you may ask, or treat you like you are something I’ve just trodden in. Below are some of the splendid (ok, not exactly) examples I’ve found over the years – all of which are the reasons as to why this platform surfaced in the first place.

“……..On a side note… You are quite vile for being a Moderator. I humbly came here for looking for help and you attack me with your condescending statements. It’s not very professional or helpful. Not all of us are server guru’s.”Cacti Forums
“…….It’s difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.” Stack Overflow
Discussion here at Phenomlab is actively supported. If you’ve ever visited Stack Overflow (and let’s face it, most of us have in our quest for technology resolutions), then you’ll realise just how condescending technology forums can be. You ask what seems to be a civil question, only to be met with belittling comments, or a moderator on a power trip who closes your question as “off topic”….

Let’s change that, shall we ?

Who am I ?

Mark Cutting

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Mark Cutting is the founder of PHENOMLAB and is a network, security and infrastructure expert. Having worked in a wide range of industries including Trading, Finance, Fund Management, Marketing, Manufacturing and Distribution, he has an extensive amount of experience in a wide range of infrastructure and security arenas. With a significant eye for detail and extensive skill set acquired during his 25+ years career in Information Technology, Mark decided to use this experience to help and mentor others looking to gain access to the industry sector, and created PHENOMLAB in January 2017. Mark is available for Pro Bono consulting, mentoring, and a wealth of other information.