How to onboard new devs to Rust

September 19, 20211 minute

At RustConf 2021 timClicks asked the following question:

here's a question for employers/team leads - how do you find the process of upskilling devs to rust? I come across dozens of people hunting for their first rust job, but getting that first job is extremely difficult

At StructionSite we've hired 4 devs 6 devs to work on Rust in the last year, none of whom had prior professional Rust experience.

This pattern has worked very well:

  1. A tour of the codebase split over a couple of pairing sessions
  2. Pair on features we are actively working on
  3. Let the new dev finish the feature on their own or give them a feature that has a similar pattern
  4. Increase the scope of features and complexity and repeat

With this pattern we've seen folks up to speed in a few weeks and actively contributing major features within the first month.

Rust's type system and error messages are helpful teachers while providing a measure of confidence that allows a new person to ship code to production early and often. Trunk based development, continuous delivery, and tests/lints on CI have helped with this as well. It also helps that we have a good amount of Rust code written already that new devs can reference.

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