AWS 'Investing to Deliver Rust Engineering at Amazon Scale'

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is wading hip-deep into the Rust community with plans to net a boatload of engineers with expertise in the fast-growing open-source programming language.

"Given our dependence on Rust, we need deep in-house Rust expertise, just as we have with Java and other foundational technologies," explained Matt Asay, AWS cloud and open-source executive, on the AWS Open Source Blog.

AWS has already begun building a team of in-house Rust experts, starting with committer Felix Klock. The company has also hired Sean McArthur, Lucio Franco, and Jon Gjengset, contributors to the Tokio runtime, which is used to write asynchronous Rust apps.

But with Rust becoming a bigger part of its development backbone, AWS is seeking to bring more Rust engineers to its ranks. Asay linked to this AWS job board, which lists 113 open positions requiring Rust expertise as of this writing. He also pointed to a website where Rust experts can contribute their help.

Though relatively new on the scene--its earliest stable release, version 1.0, rolled out in May 2015, and it's currently on version 1.48.0--Rust has enjoyed growing popularity, topping Stack Overflow's list of "most loved" programming languages two years in a row. Besides AWS, high-profile fans include Microsoft, which sees Rust as a possible alternative to C++ for its security benefits.

Asay also points to Rust's performance chops over C/C++ in his post: "Because Rust does not require a runtime or garbage collector, it is able to achieve runtime performance similar to C and C++. At the same time, Rust uses a strict type system and ownership model to achieve compile-time verification of memory and concurrency safety, making the cost of testing and validating Rust implementations significantly lower than C/C++. Carl Lerche, a principal AWS engineer, says Rust and Tokio give AWS the ability to write services that respond fast, reliably, and that help us offer a better customer experience."

AWS has thrown its support behind Rust, becoming a sponsor of the language last year and building several of its products with it, including the Firecracker virtual machine service and the Bottlerocket container platform. Other AWS services, including the Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), also rely on Rust, according to Asay.

This new  hiring push around Rust will advance AWS investments in the language even further, according to Asay, to the benefit of AWS customers and non-customers alike.

"We understand that we are net beneficiaries of the exceptional work that  others have done to make Rust thrive," he said. "AWS didn't start Rust or make it the success that it is today, but we'd like to contribute to its future  success. We are convinced that investing in the wider Rust ecosystem helps our customers and those who may never become our customers. That's OK. That's how open source is supposed to work."


About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.