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Developers cite barriers to Rust language adoption

Survey identified multiple challenges including slow compilation times and the need for better documentation
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22 April 2020

The Mozilla-founded Rust programming language faces multiple barriers to adoption by software developers, including the need for better documentation and better libraries, according to the Rust Survey 2019 report. The report also cites the difficulty of learning Rust as a major barrier to adoption.

Results of the survey, which drew on nearly 4,000 respondents, were released in an April report published by the Rust survey team. The following issues were cited as the biggest barriers to adoption:

  • Better training/documentation
  • More/better libraries
  • IDE integration
  • Compilation times
  • Async I/O
  • GUI

The report acknowledge that Rust is well-known for its “significant” learning curve. Just 37% of users felt productive in less than a month, about the same as the 40% who said so in 2018. More than 70% felt productive in the first year, but 21% said they did not. 




Usage of Rust on a daily basis did trend upward to nearly 28%, versus almost 25% in 2018 and 17.5% in 2017. Weekly usage was 68.52% in 2019 versus 66.4% in 2018 and 60.8% in 2017.

A plurality of Rust projects (43%) have 1,000 to 10,000 lines of code. Rust projects with more than 10,000 lines of code grew to 34% of projects in 2019 from 23% in 2018, 16% in 2017, and 8.9% in 2016.

Rust users prefer developing on Linux (55%), with Windows (24%) and MacOS (23%) trailing by a wide margin. Survey respondents identified Serde, rand, Tokio, async, and clap as their top Rust libraries. 

IDG News Service

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