Interview with Senior Rust Developer Jester Hartman (in 2023)

DateMay 2, 2024

Rust, as Harrison Ford humorously mentioned, is sometimes seen as the faster C++, but it’s more than that. Rust is a systems programming language designed for safety, performance, and concurrency. My journey with Rust began with the ambitious goal of writing an operating system in three weeks. Initially, I considered crafting my own systems programming language but realized Rust offered the right balance of complexity and power.

While some believe in choosing the right tool for the job, the Rust community often advocates finding the right job for the tool. I contribute to over a dozen Rust projects, drawn to its blend of features like bounded polymorphism and WebAssembly. Rust offers solutions to memory management issues prevalent in languages like C++ and Java, using unique concepts like borrowing and ownership. This ensures memory safety without the overhead of garbage collection.

Rust simplifies systems programming while offering the flexibility of a multi-paradigm language. From game development to web servers, it’s versatile enough to meet many needs, and its ecosystem is expanding with game engines and frameworks. While no language is perfect, Rust is arguably close to perfection for specific domains, offering advanced features like macro expansion and comprehensive error handling. Its tooling, including cargo and its sophisticated compiler, further facilitates productive development.

The Rust community has pioneered teaching methods that involve interactive learning through games and hands-on projects. Adopting Rust, however, requires unlearning many practices ingrained by other languages. Still, Rust helps you write safer and more efficient code, backed by robust tooling and a vibrant ecosystem. Rust’s focus on preventing race conditions, managing parallelization, and ensuring memory safety makes it ideal for systems programming and beyond.

Despite some challenges, such as the learning curve with concepts like lifetimes and unsafe code, Rust rewards its users with a language that adapts to their needs. Its continuous evolution through versions like Rust 2015, 2018, and beyond showcases its commitment to stability and innovation. Rust’s community values collaboration and quality, often advocating for gradual improvement over time.

About Rust and Cloud Technology

Rust is a multi-paradigm, strictly statically typed, compiled, general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on memory safety and efficiency. While working at Mozilla Research, Graydon Hoare started working on Rust as a side project in 2006. Mozilla started supporting the project in 2009, and they made an official announcement about it in 2010.

Rust is now among the top 20 programming languages due to its increasing popularity. Rust has many benefits, such as being quick, safe, and compact. It can run 15MB Alpine Linux images as containers, using all of the processing capability and using 10MB of idle RAM and up to 50MB of memory at peak. In addition to using an explicit control flow for concurrency and error handling, Rust is highly expressive and maintenance-friendly. It is renowned for its borrow-checking and incremental builds, and it includes modern tooling that supports all major platforms in addition to many more.

Although Rust has a steep learning curve, there are additional advantages, like compiler assurances against memory corruption and overflow categories of CVEs. Because of the language’s strictness and expressiveness, bugs are more difficult to create. Nonetheless, more businesses still need to embrace Userland’s Rust.

In conclusion, Rust’s tiny size, quick performance, and capacity to manage memory-related problems have made it a popular choice for cloud computing. Although its ecosystem is still in its infancy, its code quality is encouraging, and it can prove to be a useful resource for businesses considering switching from Userland to Rust.


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