RustRush 2018, a trip report

Sat in the plane that brings me away from Moscow, I am reflecting on everything that happened in RustRush this weekend.
This was a trip of firsts for me: first time in Russia, first time speaking at a conference, first time meeting many of the enthusiastic members of the Russian Rust community for the first RustRush event. I loved every bit of it.
The trip could have gone differently: I was sick, mildly jet-lagged, the temperature went down to -15॰C and Pobeda, the airline that flew me to Moscow lost the bag that had my warm clothing. But the minute I stepped in the conference room and listened to Ashley Williams’ inspirational keynote about the empowering properties of our favourite language, the Rust rush
set in and kept me going until now.

The quality of the talks was first class with a good variation between inspirational high level talks, detailed talks about this niche or that and talks that had a bit of both. Some had time for a short Q&A session and the crowd asked pertinent questions that added even more value to the experience. I was entertained, educated and inspired.

But talks were only the visible side of the iceberg. There were multiple half-hour breaks where the community engaged in communication with itself. This was a good opportunity for people to ask a few more questions to the speakers if they hadn’t had a chance in the talk tracks, for like-minded open source projects to exchange thoughts and for plain and simple human to
human socializing. I was delighted that a few people had been sufficiently interested by my talk that they were willing to engage in conversation about the SAFE Network and I loved to hear from other people about their work in decentralized networks, cryptography or blockchain related technologies.

Of course, Rust related goodness always comes in a trifecta, and there was indeed another experience that rocked my boat.
The conference organizers took the speakers to a Russian cocktail bar on Saturday evening, and a few of us gathered again on Sunday and people engaged in organic conversation with each other.
After a few sips of my thyme cocktail (I was sick and thought something herbal might help), I managed to get over how starstruck I was and started chatting with my bar mates. The conversation covered all kinds of topics, Rust being only one of many. Over the weekend, I discussed philosophy, politics, architecture, conferences, Linux, command line applications, the state of software in the universe, floor numbering conventions in various countries… Wild, spontaneous, natural chat between human beings. Some of these GitHub handles that I see produce awesome work in the Rust ecosystem now took an entirely different dimension.

I also managed to find some time for sightseeing in the touristic centre of Moscow: I went inside the Kremlin, visited the red square and passed by the Bolshoi theatre. Moscow is a beautiful city.

RustRush was an amazing experience. I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible: organizers, speakers and attendees.
I am looking forward to maintaining contact and even collaborating with some of the people I met this weekend; and to meet again at the next opportunity.