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Time: 2016-06-23 06:47:53-23:00 UTC
Title: Results of Rust Survey 2016
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Results of Rust Survey 2016
"The Results are in! Thank you to all 3103 of you who responded to our first Rust community survey. We were overwhelmed by your responses, and as we read your comments we were struck by the amount of time and thought you put into them. It's feedback like this that will help us focus our energy and make sure Rust continues to grow the best way. A big reason for having the survey was to make the results available publically so that we can talk about it and learn from it together. In this blog post, we'll take a first look at the survey responses, including themes in the comments, demographics, and quantitative feedback.
Do You Use Rust?
We wanted to make sure the survey was open to both users of Rust as well as people who didn't use Rust. Rust users help us get a sense of how the current language and tools are working and where we need to improve. Rust non-users give us another perspective, and help shed light on the kinds of things that get in the way of someone using Rust. I'm happy to report that more than a third of the responses were from people not using Rust. This gave us a lot of great feedback on those roadblocks, which we'll talk about in this (and upcoming) blog posts.
But first, let's look into the feedback from Rust users.
How long have you been using Rust?
Almost 2000 people responded saying they were Rust users. Of these, almost 24% were new users. This is encouraging to see. We're still growing, and we're seeing more people playing with Rust now that could become long-term users. Equally encouraging is seeing that once someone has become a Rust user, they tend to stick around and continue using it. One might expect a sharp drop-off if users became quickly disenchanted and moved onto other technologies. Instead, we see the opposite. Users that come in and stay past their initial experiences tend to stay long-term, with a fairly even spread between 3 months to 12 months (when we first went 1.0).
In terms of size of projects, we see that Rust code investment is still mostly in the "small" category. For 44.4% of users, they work on projects totally less than 1000 lines of code. Another 43.1% were less than 10,000 lines of code total. In total, 8.9% responded that they were working on codebases totally more than 10,000 lines of code.
Another fun surprise was how strongly the Linux vim users are represented. By large margin, users are often grabbing vim to do their Rust work in. An interesting area of opportunity for the Rust community going forward, looking at these charts, is the large Windows developer base who have not yet explored Rust.
An important part of Rust's success is its use not just as a hobby language but as one used in commercial work. Of survey responses from those who use Rust, currently 19.8% use Rust at work either part-time or full-time. This is an encouraging percent for a young language.
Even more encouraging is the number of developers who want to bring Rust into the workplace. Here we see another 40.1% of those who don't use Rust at work want are planning to try to use it at work in the future.
Rust and its tools
Moving on from the kinds of users to their experience with Rust and its associated tool, we can see that users (perhaps unsurprisingly) fall into two camps: the stable Rust user and the nightly Rust users, with 23% of users (not shown) using both stable and nightly. Whether on stable or nightly, a key promise of Rust as part of 1.0 was to maintain backwards compatibility between minor version releases. For stable Rust, 83.6% of users did not experience any breakage in their project as they upgraded to the next stable version.
For those who did experience breakages, the fixes were relatively easy to manage, with 83.4% stating that fixing upgrade breaks is a 1 or a 2 in terms of difficulty (on a 5-scale).
Moving from the language and compiler to the other tool distributed as part of Rust, Cargo. Here we saw overwhelming support for Cargo, with 94.1% of people saying they would rate it a 4 or 5. This helps to underscore the point that Cargo continues to be a core piece of the Rust experience.
There is much more to be found in the full story for Rust aficionados.