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Programming language Rust is alienating "stupid corporate normies"

The eighth annual State of Rust survey has released, with some positives and negatives for the community. The number of people using Rust, both in general and at work, has increased, but the language is becoming more complex and alienating some people who have yet to adopt it.

93.4% of survey respondents said they used Rust; it's an implicitly biased sample, but the figure is up 2.6 percentage points from last year's survey. People using Rust at work are up even more, at 62% compared to 56.9% in 2022. 

The most common reason for not taking up Rust was that it's too difficult, and they had no time to learn it, which 30.9% of respondents blamed for their failure to get to grips with the language.

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Another, reason people aren't getting into Rust is its community. While the community being "rude, unwelcoming or otherwise off-putting" was the least cited reason for not picking the language up last year, the rudeness is proliferating. 6.4% of respondents cited Rust's rude community as a reason not to learn the language in 2023, compared to 3% in 2022.

While toxic Rust users are a minority, they can be vocal. One commenter called NVIDIA "stupid corporate normies" for replacing C with Ada instead of their darling. One Hackerrnews user critiqued someone's code by saying, "not even Rust can fix stupid." A C++ engineer said that, while the "vast majority" of Rust devs are nice, "boy are there some obnoxious Rust evangelists out there." Rust has been said to have "a religion around memory safety" that's closer to "a cult."

Are these concerns exaggerated to give the community a bad name? Or have you experienced any toxicity from Rust advocates yourself? Let us know in the comments (and try to be nice...)

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • Ch
    CharlesLuck
    29 February 2024

    Instead of collaborating on a comprehensive methodology, that works best, that is easy to use, and safe; the state of the art in 2024 continues to lean towards more disparity, more complexity, and more discord. As long as the art of programming revolves around profiteering, the state of the art will continue to be experiments that do not lend themselves to the fast and easy programming of applications by those who know the most about what the problems these applications need to solve.

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