Getting to know the board

Introducing Lars Bergstrom

by Lars Bergstrom, Member Director, Google

Over the next five weeks, we'll be running a series called "Getting to know the board", publishing blog posts from each member of the Rust Foundation Board of Directors, introducing them to the community. You can view the posts in this series here.

I’m super excited to have the opportunity to join the Rust Foundation board to both continue to support Rust and help to grow its usage at Google. I am currently the Director of Engineering for Android Platform Programming languages, where I work with teams supporting C++, Java, Kotlin, and Rust development. Like many other software projects, improving memory safety in our most performance-sensitive code is a critical need on Android to both keep our users safe and reduce the number of emergency security updates.

Before Google, I was at Mozilla. I started there in 2013, working on the new Servo browser engine (back in the days of Rust 0.7, when it was still a managed-memory language that looks very different from today)! It was a delightful experience to get to collaborate with the Rust team as the language evolved, alongside the development of the Servo browser engine and several other projects. Later, my primary activity was the work to make it possible to use Rust code in Firefox and share pieces with the community - which was really more about people, processes, and tooling than the language or libraries! I’m excited to have the opportunity here at Google to continue to ship more software that uses Rust while sharing our feedback and contributing back to the community.

I’m hopeful that the Foundation will help Rust grow new collaborations around activities that many individuals and companies are doing today that could benefit the broader community. For example, each crate import/update undergoes additional security reviews, license/code verification, and performance analysis internally at most companies, but that information is not shared externally today. Further, while it’s ideal to write new projects in Rust, for most of us, we need to integrate Rust into existing systems - many of which are in C++ and each of which uses a unique set of features that pose challenges to efficient integration with Rust. Collaborating across companies, we could build solutions that work across the industry. Finally, for many critical systems (e.g., device drivers), formal verification that is accessible to Rust developers could also help us eliminate an even broader set of issues in software systems beyond memory safety.

Before Mozilla, my PhD work was on an ML dialect, Manticore, with my contributions focused on compiler optimizations and the runtime (GC, parallelism, core libraries, etc.). A longer time ago, I spent 7 years at Microsoft on Visual Studio working on the IDE and build systems and managing the team that built the new text editor, debugger, and common compiler infrastructure.

Personally, I’m from the Chicago area originally, but have spent most of my management career building and working with hybrid teams and partners spread across the globe. I’ve been a “gym rat” since my teenage years, and one thing I’ve enjoyed has been working out at a variety of curious fitness centers globally with other Rustaceans!