Rust developers concerned about complexity, low usage

While the use of Rust language by professional programmers continues to grow, Rust users expressed concerns about the language becoming too complex and the low level of Rust usage in the tech industry, according to the 2023 State of Rust Survey report.

The report, which was produced by the Rust Survey Team and published February 19, noted a slight jump in the number of respondents that self-identify as a Rust user, up from 91% of respondents in the 2022 survey to 93% in 2023. The survey was conducted from December 18, 2023, to January 15, 2024, and drew 11,950 participants, 9,710 of whom (82%) completed the survey.

Among the 9,374 respondents who shared their main worries for the future of Rust, 43% were most concerned about Rust becoming too complex, a five percentage point increase from 2022; 42% were most concerned about low usage of Rust in the tech industry; and 32% were most concerned about Rust developers and maintainers not being properly supported, a six percentage point increase from 2022. Further, the percentage of respondents who were not at all concerned about the future of Rust fell, from 30% in 2022 to 18% in 2023.

Other results of the 2023 State of Rust Survey:

  • 49% of Rust users reported doing so on a daily or nearly daily basis, an increase of 2% from 2022.
  • 31% of those who did not identify as Rust users cited the perception of difficulty as the primary reason; 67% reported they simply have not had the chance to prioritize learning Rust yet.
  • 45% of respondents who had stopped using Rust cited factors outside their control as the reason, while 31% stopped due to preferring another language.
  • 38% of respondents reported personally using Rust at work, a decrease from 43.2% in 2022.
  • 33.9% reported using Rust for the majority of their coding, an increase from 29.8% in 2022.
  • 86% of employers that had invested in Rust did so for the ability to build relatively correct and bug-free software.
  • The top domains for using Rust included server-side or back-end applications, cloud computing applications, and distributed systems.
  • Rust expertise generally has increased over the past year, with 47% considering themselves productive using Rust, an increase from 42% in 2022.
  • Linux was the most popular operating system among Rust users, with 69.7% using Linux regularly.
  • Visual Studio Code was the most popular editor or IDE for use with Rust code, with 61.7% using it.
  • 22% of participants reported living in the US, 12% reported living in Germany, and 6.09% reported living in China.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.


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