Core team membership updates

Sept. 27, 2021 · The Rust Core Team

The Rust Core team is excited to announce the first of a series of changes to its structure we’ve been planning for 2021, starting today by adding several new members.

Originally, the Core team was composed of the leads from each Rust team. However, as Rust has grown, this has long stopped being true; most members of the Core team are not team leads in the project. In part, this is because Core’s duties have evolved significantly away from the original technical focus. Today, we see the Core team’s purpose as enabling, amplifying, and supporting the excellent work of every Rust team. Notably, this included setting up and launching the Rust Foundation.

We know that our maintainers, and especially team leads, dedicate an enormous amount of time to their work on Rust. We care deeply that it’s possible for not just people working full time on Rust to be leaders, but that part time volunteers can as well. To enable this, we wish to avoid coupling leading a team with a commitment to stewarding the project as a whole as part of the Core team. Likewise, it is important that members of the Core team have the option to dedicate their time to just the Core team’s activities and serve the project in that capacity only.

Early in the Rust project, composition of the Core team was made up of almost entirely Mozilla employees working full time on Rust. Because this team was made up of team leads, it follows that team leads were also overwhelmingly composed of Mozilla employees. As Rust has grown, folks previously employed at Mozilla left for new jobs and new folks appeared. Many of the new folks were not employed to work on Rust full time so the collective time investment was decreased and the shape of the core team’s work schedule shifted from 9-5 to a more volunteer cadence. Currently, the Core team is composed largely of volunteers, and no member of the Core team is employed full time to work on their Core team duties.

We know that it’s critical to driving this work successfully to have stakeholders on the team who are actively working in all areas of the project to help prioritize the Core team’s initiatives. To serve this goal, we are announcing some changes to the Core team’s membership today: Ryan Levick, Jan-Erik Rediger, and JT are joining the Core team. To give some context on their backgrounds and experiences, each new member has written up a brief introduction.

  • Ryan Levick began exploring Rust in 2014 always looking for more and more ways to be involved in the community. Over time he participated more by co-organizing the Berlin Rust meetup, doing YouTube tutorials, helping with various project efforts, and more. In 2019, Ryan got the opportunity to work with Rust full time leading developer advocacy for Rust at Microsoft and helping build up the case for Rust as an official language inside of Microsoft. Nowadays he’s an active Rust project member with some of the highlights including working in the compiler perf team, running the Rust annual survey, and helping the 2021 edition effort.
  • Jan-Erik Rediger started working with Rust sometime in late 2014 and has been a member of the Rust Community Team since 2016. That same year he co-founded RustFest, one of the first conferences dedicated to Rust. In the following years seven RustFest conferences have brought together hundreds of Rust community members all around Europe and more recently online.
  • JT has 15 years of programming language experience. During that time, JT worked at Cray on the Chapel programming language and at Apple on LLVM/Clang. In 2012, they joined Microsoft as part of the TypeScript core team, where they helped to finish and release TypeScript to the world. They stayed on for over three years, helping direct TypeScript and grow its community. From there, they joined Mozilla to work on Rust, where they brought their experience with TypeScript to help the Rust project transition from a research language to an industrial language. During this time, they co-created the new Rust compiler error message format and the Rust Language Server. Their most recent work is with Nushell, a programming language implemented in Rust.

These new additions will add fresh perspectives along several axes, including geographic and employment diversity. However, we recognize there are aspects of diversity we can continue to improve. We see this work as critical to the ongoing health of the Rust project and is part of the work that will be coordinated between the Rust core team and the Rust Foundation.

Manish Goregaokar is also leaving the team to be able to focus better on the dev-tools team. Combining team leadership with Core team duties is a heavy burden. While Manish has enjoyed his time working on project-wide initiatives, this coupling isn’t quite fair to the needs of the devtools team, and he’s glad to be able to spend more time on the devtools team moving forward.

The Core team has been doing a lot of work in figuring out how to improve how we work and how we interface with the rest of the project. We’re excited to be able to share more on this in future updates.

We're super excited for Manish’s renewed efforts on the dev tools team and for JT, Ryan, and Jan-Erik to get started on core team work! Congrats and good luck!

This post is part 1 of a multi-part series on updates to the Rust core team.