Rust Job: Backend Developer (Rust) - Downstream

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Portland, OR - United States of America

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Rust Job Details

We continue to revolutionize the creation of workplace to meet the needs of today's ever-changing global brands. Our agile, end-to-end experience, delivered seamlessly across borders, is powered by strong client partnerships and enabled by sound workplace intelligence and transformational technology.

We believe that everyone should work in an environment that inspires productivity, peak performance and delivers wellbeing. Across our 48 global studios we see that positive work environments foster open, collaborative and supportive cultures populated by highly independent, motivated people. While our core business is strategising, designing and building workplaces for some of the biggest brands in the world, we know our people are our #1 asset. We look after them with an extensive Employee Value Proposition program which includes rewards and recognition, career development and a focus on wellbeing.

Downstream is a growing experience design firm with a large focus on building software-enhanced experiences for clients around the world. We have a 20+ year legacy of working with large clients from Nike to Google. The work presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities which makes it a rewarding place to explore new concepts and paradigms with our clients.

Our company has an unusual range of disciplines under one roof: architects, interactive designers, software engineers, visual artists, UX designers, and others. For the considerably small size of our company, that means everyone plays a larger part in the overall project effort. There is more consulting and more planning expected from everyone than you would find at firms that are centered around a single discipline like an architecture firm or a software product company.

Many of the bespoke projects that Downstream does are built as physical installations in corporate briefing centers or other brand-focused facilities where the overall goal is to convey the excitement and feeling of the client's story. Most of the time, there are software elements brought into these physical spaces. There are interactive displays that visitors can touch, walk on, or watch during their time at the facility. Clients may use these facilities to pitch their offerings to high-level executives or to build up excitement around their brand and what they do. Downstream's role is to design the overall experience, choose the hardware, and build the applications that will run on-site behind the displays.

Some of the projects Downstream delivers involve a fair bit of content. Clients may choose to create presentations that are non-linear and interactive. This allows them to sell the right product to the right people at the right time because having a breadth of case studies and material within a touch-screen application allows them direct access to content related to wherever the conversation takes them. Content may also be scheduled and pre-targeted to specific visitors. Content is sometimes connected to existing systems that the client is already using. In short, content can play a big role in adding value to the overall experience for a client.

Over the past years of building content-backed experiences for clients, Downstream has settled on a core Content Management System (CMS) product that we call Bridge which handles 100% of the content management needs for 90% of the content-based projects for our clients. The rest of the work comes from integrations with external services that require one-off development. Occasionally, new features are needed and are built into Bridge itself.

Bridge is nearing the end of development and we are focused on the final integrations with the bespoke applications that display the content as well as working with a deployment team to run Bridge as a service in AWS. We are working internally with a UX designer to help make the content-editing experience more intuitive and approachable, no matter the complexity of content.

Bridge is similar to products like Contentful where the content structures are dynamic. We have an internal product called Bridge Blueprint that is used to develop and maintain a content schema including contextual documentation for each project. This is the key that makes tailoring Bridge to each project work.

Downstream Bridge needs a Rust Developer who will:

  • Own the Rust codebase for the Bridge API including writing pragmatic tests and ongoing documentation.
  • Own the full end-to-end security and stack. You will be responsible for communicating with clients about how we keep their data secure.
  • Own the Tauri (Rust/vue) codebase for Bridge Blueprint.
  • Work with application developers to build an API for their software to consume.
  • Work with UI developers to build an API for the Bridge UI to consume.
  • Participate in weekly discussion on Bridge functionality, progress, and ongoing work.
  • Collaborate with the Bridge product owner to prioritize functionality in the API with comprehensive understanding of the overall project (API, UI, Bridge, projects, etc.)
  • Work with CloudOps teams to further enhance and improve on the deployment of Bridge instances in AWS.
  • Trigger new Bridge deployments by running modular Terraform plans. This process is well-defined but may need occasional changes as things evolve.
  • Actively escalate project and product risks through an ISO27001 process.
  • Occasionally, create one-off integration services that run alongside the Bridge service to import content from third-party systems. (This doesn't have to be in Rust but would be deployed as a Docker container in AWS.)

Required Skills:

  • Experience of applied Rust is required. This is a web application and there is not a lot of low-level memory management know-how needed (read: not a lot going on with lifetimes, but some).
  • Bridge services are deployed to AWS. It's important to have some knowledge of what those services are and how they are integrated to the application. This role is responsible for defining application requirements for AWS deployments.
  • Experience working in a team and justifying your rationale for the decisions you've made in the code, in the stack, and in the process.
  • Experience with owning a large codebase, keeping it organized, documented, and maintained.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of distributed software including network vulnerabilities, file streams, asynchronous programming, and end-to-end testing.
  • Practiced at escalating risks during the software development lifecycle and engaging in conversations for better ISO27001 compliance.
  • Proven record of self-driven task and time management while being transparent and communicative about the work you are doing.
  • Docker is a vital tool for working with Bridge as it allows us to reliably reproduce production instances. You must have experience writing Docker files and creating images.
  • Some experience using project management tools like Jira is required. Bridge projects are currently managed with GitHub Projects, but other projects at Downstream use Jira.
  • Some understanding of Terraform will be helpful.
  • Ability to be friendly and tactful while working with clients in support and onboarding of new projects.

Why diversity is important to us

Our teams currently include women, military veterans, people of color, and people from the LGBTQIA2S+ community. We have different backgrounds and interests. This has been a crucial element in creating a cohesive group that makes no assumptions and remains resistant to homogeneity. We have further to go, but we recognize that our differences make us stronger together.


  • Competitive benefits (medical, dental, vision, 401k).
  • 17 days flexible paid time off (PTO) plus standard holidays.