06Jun

Rust is being saved.

A consortium of Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Huawei, Mozilla and Google last week launched the Rust Foundation committing $2 million to sustain the organization.

If you’re wondering why anyone would want to do that, you’re obviously not an IT professional or a gamer.

Rust is a programming language so beloved by developers that for years they’ve overwhelmingly rated it ahead of all other languages like Python, Typescript and C# on Stack Overflow’s annual “Most Loved, Most Dreaded” survey.

Despite the thousands of volunteers who contribute to the open-source project, when Mozilla, its sponsor, began laying off staff last year Rust’s future was endangered. Mozilla, best known for its Firefox browser, began developing Rust a decade ago, says Techcrunch, as an alternative to C/C++ to improve Firefox performance.

Since getting a public release in 2015 Rust has been widely adopted by organizations worldwide, including such groups as Dropbox, Postmates and the New Zealand Fire Service.

“Mozilla incubated Rust to build a better Firefox and contribute to a better Internet,” said Bobby Holley, Mozilla and Rust Foundation Board member. “In its new home with the Rust Foundation, Rust will have the room to grow into its own success, while continuing to amplify some of the core values that Mozilla shares with the Rust community.”

In a blog post about the new foundation, its interim executive director Ashley Williams described Rust as a “a barrier-breaking technology — deconstructing previously assumed-immovable tradeoffs and binary oppositions.”

But more than just a programming language, she says, “Rust’s product is the experience of being a Rust developer… One of the most powerful driving forces of the Rust project is the simultaneous belief in the power of systems programming and the commitment to ensuring that such power is wieldable by everyone.”

In its report, Techcrunch said each of the sponsors uses Rust in developing or rebuilding “core aspects of some of their stacks.” Microsoft recently formed a Rust team. Google is funding a project to improve the Apache webserver using Rust.

Photo by Max Duzij

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Worried Tech Workers Are Thinking About Relocating

The pandemic shutdown has made relocating an easier decision for IT professionals living in the increasingly more expensive tech hubs of the nation.

With 61% of tech employees now working fully remotely because of COVID-19, a survey by .Tech Domains found the

vast majority of tech talent living within 30 miles of large tech centers are thinking of moving. Some already have.

“As Covid-19 accelerates remote work environments for the tech workforce, many are using the flexibility to pursue more affordable lifestyles,” says Suman Das, brand director at .Tech Domains.

Millennials are feeling the urge to relocate even more acutely than older tech workers. Younger and therefore less senior in both career and pay scale, the millennial professionals in the survey were 15% more likely to be thinking of relocating.

They’re also giving more thought to taking on gig jobs than ever before. While almost three-quarters of all full-time employees say they are more likely to freelance now than before the pandemic hit, 84% of millennial IT professionals say that.

Relocating to lower cost areas and picking up side work are considerations driven by any number of factors, but certainly worries about being laid off or furloughed are high among them.

When the tech-focused job site Hired surveyed 2,300 tech workers in July, it found large percentages of them “concerned” or “very concerned” about losing their job in the next several months. Among those in the San Francisco Bay Area, 53% expressed concern about being laid off. In New York, 42% shared that worry.

The worry is not unjustified. Technology firms in the Bay Area were quick to shed jobs in the early months of the pandemic shutdown. From a high of 130,400 employees in February, the information sector shed almost 13,000 jobs in less than two months.

Still, unemployment among tech workers nationally was 4.6% in August, well under the 8.4% nationally.

Photo by marek kizer

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