rustconf 2018

3 minute read

so this year my friend gabby and I went to RustConf. We decided that after a long summer, a road trip was warranted on our journey to get some Ferris the Crab stickers and plushies. It was a lot of fun meeting up long time friends (both from the internet and school) along the way and look forward to the next road trip.

BTW: Gabby and I got to attend RustConf only because of RustBridge, which gave us a scholarship for our tickets to attend! Please check them out if you are interested in learning Rust and come from an underrepresented background in tech!

Spoilers: If you are looking for an extensive overview of RustConf, this isn’t the blog post for you.

gabby looking over san francisco


Our first stop was over in Denver, Colorado to visit our internet friend, Matt. We stuck around for about three days, but the highlight of the trip was definitely our journey up Mount Evans.

On the way up the 14,265 ft summit, we met some goats. They were all over the place.


In particular, we saw a baby goat following his momma around.


Once we got up there… well, I mean, really, the pictures speak for themselves.

overlooking at 14k feet

Snapped dramatic pics of Matt and Gabby. Very moody.

Colorado was dope as hell. I understand the hype now and also why so many people are rushing to move there 👀.


Gabby randomly asked if we wanted to make a 8’ish hour detour to Utah to see Arches National Park. Why not?

arches national park

While there, I found a few boulders and rock faces that were way too tempting… so I decided to do some bouldering!


The park was gorgeous and we got some more dramatic pics. It’s definitely worth the visit, and we plan on going back again soon.


san francisco

Our second stop was San Francisco. It has been a quick minute since I was last here and the feels were real. This is doubly so, as we stayed in Alameda, a city/island that immediately felt like a home away from home when I first stayed here four years ago.

We had a lot of friends in the Bay, both from real life and the internet, and met up with a lot of them. One of our friends, Sonya, organized a small get together in Delores park and we had a blast.

foggy delores

Our road trip was serendipitous in a lot of ways, but the best example was when our AirBnB host worked at… AirBnB. It was casually discovered when he offered to drive us into San Francisco that morning, which then lead to him offering breakfast at his work, which then lead us to walking into AirBnB’s HQ and connecting some dots.

After a lavish breakfast, our host gave us a tour of AirBnB during which Gabby met a friend from ISU who now also works at AirBnB. We hung out with her (and some other ISU kids) later that day 🙂.


Eventually, after about a week of driving around the midwest and west coast, we made it to Portland for RustConf!

opening keynote

My favorite talk was the closing keynote by Catherine West, which covered rust as a language for game development. I learned a lot from that talk and it inspired me to start making a game using rust.

Another favorite was definitely Isis Lovecraft and Chelsea Komlo’s talk on how Tor is integrating rust into their code base. They have converted a lot of C over into rust (iirc, ~100k LOC).

Tor talk

An interesting observation is just how “small” rust still remains as a community. I wonder how long this ethos will stick around given how amazing it is to use for anything systems related…

RustConf was a blast. I met a ton of smart people and some of the major contributors, developers of Rust Lang itself. Portland is also a great choice in city and I loved how bike friendly it was (read: electric scooter friendly), and traveling around it to explore was very fun.


This was a hell of a trip. There was around ~50 hours of driving in total and lots of pit stops. We saw the wildfires going on in Utah and California, and found ourselves driving through some of the most remote portions of the Nevada desert.

I look forward to coming back to RustConf and seeing how much bigger it gets!