I'm joining Mainmatter

TL;DR: My next step

In July I'll join Mainmatter as a Principal Engineering Consultant.

Who is Mainmatter?

Mainmatter is a consulting company headquartered in Germany, with a team distributed across most of Europe.
We got in touch for the first time last year, in 2022: they were organising the first edition of EuroRust in Berlin and I had the pleasure of helping out by reviewing talk proposals.
EuroRust was not a one-off. The conference is part of Mainmatter's strategic bet on Rust.

That's where I come in!

Speaking of which, the second edition of EuroRust is around the corner!
It'll be in Brussels (Belgium), 12-13 October 2023. You're still in time to grab a ticket!

My Rust thesis

My first encounter with Rust was in 2018, almost by chance.
I was an ML engineer at the time, eating Python for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had heard of this "Rust thing" from my CTO, a spill-over from some discussion on HackerNews.
It caught my attention. I was struggling to write performant prototypes of new algorithms and I wondered: is it a viable alternative to C/C++ for writing native Python extensions?

Rust has been a constant in my professional life ever since.
I've seen the discourse around it evolve, from "up-and-coming" to "the next big thing" to "the next big thing that's already here".
I've seen companies of all sizes adopt it, first for small projects and then for mission-critical systems.
I've seen the most disparate industries embrace it, from gaming to fintech to automotive.

Rust truly embodies the idea of a general purpose programming language.
It spans the entire stack, from Linux drivers to web development. It isn't the perfect language for most domains, but it's a damn good language for most domains. This flexibility is what makes Rust so compelling: you need to invest time and effort to master it, but you're rewarded with a tool that can support you successfully in most of your endeavours.
The return on investment is huge.

Over the next decade, I expect Rust to become ubiquitous.
Every developer will be working with it, either directly (by writing Rust code) or indirectly (by using libraries in other programming languages that wrap a Rust core).

The web is the next frontier

That's all cool and interesting, but you might wonder: what does it have to do with me? Or Mainmatter?

My focus right now is on the first group of users, those writing Rust code directly.
What can we do to make their lives easier? What is the best way to support them?

I identified API development as the next "big" frontier for Rust adoption a few years ago.
I've pitched, delivered and reaped the benefits of Rust on the backend when I was working at TrueLayer.
I've seen it again at AWS.

I want everybody else to experience the same.

"Zero to Production in Rust" gave me the chance to speak with so many different people embarking on this journey.
It isn't a phenomenon limited to a few early adopters or Big Tech anymore. More and more companies are picking up Rust for their backend services.

Why Mainmatter?

I want to be close to this wave of adopters. I want to see it succeed.

I've experimented with going deep: focus on one company, nail a "productive" Rust stack and then scale it across the organisation. Later export the learnings to the community.

It has its limitations: each company has its own unique set of problems and constraints, which aren't always relevant to the broader ecosystem. They might not be representative: what works for AWS often doesn't work (or doesn't even register as an issue!) for a small startup. Incentives are also not always aligned.

Which bring me back to consulting: I want an opportunity to partner with a larger portfolio of companies. I want to experiment with going wide.
I see this opportunity in Mainmatter, and we decided to partner up!

But what will you actually be doing?

I'll be working together with clients, both hands-in-the-editor and drawing boxes and arrows on the board. Whatever it takes to solve the problem at hand.

You'll also find me running workshops, trainings and speaking at conferences—perhaps even more so than before.
One workshop is already on the calendar: a deep-dive into telemetry for Rust projects, "You can't fix what you can't see". There are still a few tickets left, so grab one if you're interested.

If you're interested in working together, don't hesitate to get in touch!
I'd love to hear from you, whether you're evaluating Rust, starting your journey, or looking for ways to take it to the next level.

There's incredible work to be done in this space, and I'm excited to play a part.