Rust in the tech world: opportunities and challenges, trends and a peek into the future

What’s going on in the Rust landscape?

The Rust world is always being looked at by different tech studies. By breaking the codes on these gems, you can learn a lot about the busy community and the untapped potential of Rust. A really big surprise? Most people who like Rust started learning the language in the past few years. Employers, this could be a sign that you need to change those job requirements that say you have to know Rust for 10 years.

The world of Rust is growing at a lightning-fast rate. Even though the rest of the business is starting to catch up, tech giants are already showing the way. Also, there are some subtleties in the tools, especially when it comes to analyzing and fixing bugs.

In today’s digest, we’ll share the latest news about the Rust community and its large ecosystem. We’ll also talk about the difficulties and challenges of starting new projects in Rust or moving from other languages.

Want to know how many of these Rust fans there are? SlashData’s 23rd State of the Developer Nation report (Q3 2022) says that there are 2.8 million members of the Rustacean tribe. For comparison, that’s about 1/7 of the power of the JavaScript army and a little less than 1/4 of the power of the C/C++ clan.

And here’s a zinger: This number has tripled in the last two years, making Rust one of the places where developers are gathering at the fastest rate. What’s coming up next for Rust? According to the Stack Overflow 2022 Developer Survey, 17.6% of developers who don’t already use Rust can’t wait to start. Rust is still young, but it already has so much going for it that the sky’s the limit!

If you look into it more, you’ll find that Rust’s charm has especially caught the attention of younger tech minds. In its 2022 State of Developer Ecosystem study, JetBrains drops the fact that 60% of people who say Rust is their favorite language are 30 or younger. And, in line with this trend, the Rust Team’s 2021 poll shows that a good half of these developers have less than ten years of experience in programming.

Let’s also look at what these Rust fans have done with code in the past:

41% of them are experts in dynamically typed programming languages, like JavaScript, Python, and PHP.

27% are masters of OOP languages with garbage collection that are statically typed, like Java and C#.

And 20% of them have worked with manual memory management systems like C and C++ for a long time.

Interesting facts keep coming out of the data: a lot of JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, Java, and C++ developers want to dance with Rust. Even though C fans seem a little shy, the fact that Linux kernel rules are changing and C projects are starting to use Rust could turn the tide.

To top it all off, the State of Developer Ecosystem 2022 says that only 5% of Rust workers have been fluent in the language for more than 3 years. Rust is used with languages like JavaScript, Python, C++, and others in a variety of projects. A quick look at GitHub shows that both Python and JavaScript are used in 20% of the projects that are mostly Rust.

What do we think? Rust is becoming more popular, thanks in large part to a new wave of techies with roots in Python and JavaScript. As they move into system programming, they’re looking for new and exciting things to do. Unlike C and C++, Rust is giving them exactly what they’re looking for.

Back-end and beyond: Rust’s forte

The studies reveal a big secret: server-side or backend projects are Rust’s main playground. But there’s more. Infrastructure and applications for cloud computing are quickly adopting Rust, which shows how well it can handle big, complex systems. Rust’s features also work well for distributed apps.

Let’s talk about the systems now. 77% of writers are working on Linux. After that, Windows and macOS get the most attention. WebAssembly finds its place with 22% of Rust writers, while 11% of them play around with embedded systems. As for apps for phones? Rust hasn’t left a big mark on the world yet.

CLI vs. GUI: where does Rust shine?

In the world of Rust, CLI (Command Line Interface) tools are becoming the most important thing. What’s the point? There are a lot of CLI (Command Line Interface) libraries, but not as many GUI (Graphical User Interface) tools. This trend is backed up by the 2022 State of Developer Ecosystem survey, which found that 46% of Rust workers use the language to make CLI tools.

Rust as a cross-language tool: breaking the mold

Just below the surface, an interesting story is taking shape. Rust isn’t just used for its own programmes; it’s also a popular tool for other computer languages. For example, look at JavaScript and Python. Projects like deno, which is a modern runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript, and Ruff, which is a Python linter, show that Rust has the ability to speed up development while delivering high performance. Here’s the kicker: tools for most languages are usually written in the same language as the language itself. Rust is changing this, and in a big way.


Rust is loved by big tech, but…

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Meta, which are all big names in tech, are all on board with Rust. Yet, the State of Developer Ecosystem 2022 survey reveals a surprising fact: most Rust writers use the language outside of work. Only 18% of skilled software developers use Rust as part of their daily work. Why the difference? It looks like many people are just starting out on their Rust journey or are doing it as an enthusiastic hobby.

Rust trends in hiring: a look at the job market

When you look at job postings, there isn’t a lot of proof that a lot of companies, especially smaller and middle-sized ones, are looking for Rust talent. The Rust Team’s poll shows that this is still the case. So, how do businesses get used to Rust? Mostly by fixing up non-essential parts or starting new sample projects to see how Rust works.

For Rust to be used in an organization, it needs to be led by people who have used it before. Given how developers work now, these kinds of pros are hard to find. The bright side? This gap will probably get smaller as more coders get better at using Rust.

Worries and hopes

The biggest worry, according to the 2021 State of Rust Survey, is that there is a trend of industry to slowly accept Rust. But there are signs of change in the air, and things are about to change.

In a nutshell, Rust’s journey in the world of technology is a mix of exciting wins, steep learning curves, and huge potential. As the community grows and shares its experiences, it’s clear that Rust’s future is just as bright as ever.

Tools and language

The rise of the Rust age

Rust’s hallmark? Safety for memory. This feature makes it less likely that certain types of bugs will happen, giving developers a big safety net. For example, Google says that Rust is the reason why the number of major vulnerabilities in Android has gone down, and it promotes Rust as a memory-safe alternative to C++. On the other end of the scale, Amazon loves Rust because it uses less CPU and manages memory better, which makes it more energy efficient.

The numbers tell an interesting story:

• Performance Perfection: 70% of workers who use Rust are sure that the way Rust performs affects how many people use it.

• Safety First: Rust’s security features amaze 64% of devs.

• Efficiency Unlocked: 80% of people are sure that switching to Rust is worth it because it helps them reach their goals without any trouble.

• Excellent documentation: 65% of people love how clear and well-written Rust’s documentation is.

The finishing touch? Rust is the most loved language for the seventh year in a row, and a poll from Stack Overflow found that an amazing 87% of developers want to keep using Rust. This unwavering loyalty draws a clear picture of how great Rust is.

The Rust riddle: complexity makes itself known

Still, no trip is free of problems. 38% of the people surveyed by the Rust Team agree that writing in Rust is harder than in other languages. 62% of people think that Rust is harder to learn, and worry is growing about how complicated it is getting.

Visual Studio Code with rust-analyzer is the most popular integrated development environment (IDE) for Rust. About half of its workers use it. JetBrains IDEs, which are used by between 25% and 40% of people, are close behind. Vim/Neovim has a fair amount of fame as well. When you look into it more, you’ll see the trend: two-thirds of Rust writers like a satisfying IDE experience.

Rust is loved, but there are clear places where it hurts. 32% of the people who took the State of Developer Ecosystem 2022 poll want a native experience when it comes to debugging. A lot of people use ‘println-style’ debugging, and one-third of them only use it. The story about code profiling is worse, since 80% of coders avoid using profiling tools. What’s up? The tools that are offered are hard to use and not very clear. This problem is made worse by the lack of complete teaching tools. Rust’s results might not be as good as you think it is if you don’t check it out.

The information on Rust tools is still hard to find. Rust is still a young language, so it has some technological gaps. However, it works well with other languages, so this isn’t seen as a big problem.

In the end, Rust’s journey is an interesting tapestry of strengths that can’t be denied and areas that need improvement. As language changes, it will open up new ways to explore and new problems to solve.