Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are snapping up experts in the Rust programming language months after Mozilla laid them off (FB, AMZN, GOOG, GOOGL, MSFT)

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Over the last few months, programmers specializing in the Rust language have flocked to tech titans including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

That talent will go to work on new teams dedicated to building with Rust, which has risen to prominence in recent years thanks to its memory efficiency, speed, and security (Google, notably, is hiring Rust talent, but doesn’t have a specific team dedicated to it). Rust is increasingly seen as a modern alternative to Go or legacy programming languages like C++ and C.

Those companies all increasingly use Rust to power everything from websites to developer tools to video games: Facebook had been using Rust to build its Diem cryptocurrency (formerly Libra), while Amazon uses it to power products like its serverless platform Lambda, which allows developers to run and scale their code without having to manage the underlying servers.

Rust was first developed at Mozilla for its Firefox browser — and, indeed, much of the talent now flocking to the tech giants comes from Mozilla, in the wake of a round of layoffs in August that saw the company let go of about 250 employees, including developers who were active members of the Rust team.

Prominent Mozilla alumni are now working on Rust at Big Tech companies:

Patrick Walton, a former Mozilla principal engineer and part of the August layoffs, announced on Twitter that he will lead Facebook’s new Rust team.
Former Mozilla principal research engineer Niko Matsakis wrote in his blog that he will now work as Amazon’s new tech lead for Rust. He left Mozilla of his own volition earlier this month.
Amazon hired former Mozilla research engineer Felix Klock, another Rust developer, as a principal software engineer, in October.
Microsoft hired former Mozilla senior staff research engineer Nell Shamrell-Harrington, who was part of the August layoffs, to work in its open source programs office.
In November, Google hired engineering director Lars Bergstrom, who previously worked at Mozilla and was part of the August layoffs.
In December, Google hired senior software engineer and Rust core team member Manish Goregaokar, previously a staff research engineer at Mozilla. 

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The new influx of Rust talent also marks a milestone for the community around the programming language. Ashley Williams, a core member of the team that maintains the Rust open-source project, says that there was some uncertainty from the community around the future of the language after the layoffs at Mozilla. Seeing the major tech companies embrace that talent and the technology like this is a bullish sign for the future of Rust, she said.

“For the future of Rust, it’s my hope that we see Rust used in a ton of fantastic and exciting ways,” Williams told Insider. “It’s an incredibly powerful and safe language. Things will be better if they use Rust. It’s a way to think about building and collaborating a high quality suite of software.”

How the big tech companies will use Rust

Adoption of Rust grew 235% in 2019, according to data from Microsoft’s GitHub, making it one …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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