Rust: A programming language with potential for embedded development? | Amoria Bond

Rust: A programming language with potential for embedded development?

7 mins

"New" programming language: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Rust and where is R...

"New" programming language: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Rust and where is Rust used?

Rust, released back in 2010, is currently considered the "new" trending programming language. Although it has been around for 12 years, it has only recently begun to experience increasing popularity. In the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, conducted among more than 80,000 developers in 2021, it consistently ranks as the most popular language and is considered easier to learn than C++.

It also brings some other big advantages in the view of many developers, such as having great performance with many modern programming concepts and a stronger focus on (memory) security than C and C++. In addition, Rust offers the possibility to integrate quality into software from the beginning instead of "patching" it afterwards with patches, as has been the practice so far.

Rust is thus primarily intended to inherit C and C++, which still represent the measure of all things in system-related and embedded programming. Many well-known companies have already established closer relationships with Rust, also in the embedded sector. These include, for example, the BMW Group, Siemens, Bosch or Infineon.

Nevertheless, Rust also comes with disadvantages. For example, it is considered a more complex programming language that is generally more difficult to learn - unless you are already familiar with C++. When it comes to compiling code, it is also somewhat slower compared to other languages. Another disadvantage could be the strictness of Rust. You can't be careless when programming with this language - the programme only starts when everything is completely correct.

So is it worth learning the "new" programming language Rust?

Rust in the current candidate market

A recent survey found that while 75% of Rust users say they can write production-ready code, only 7% say they are experts in the programming language. It follows that companies hiring Rust developers need to be flexible. Currently, many recruiters are therefore willing to make compromises. If we look at the following developments, it is conceivable that this will not always be the case.

In a LinkedIn talent pool report we produced for Germany, it becomes apparent that there are currently at least 3,286 professionals with this skill in the republic - at least these are those who are registered on LinkedIn and also indicate their skill there. Worldwide, there are 52,169 users who have listed this skill on LinkedIn. Beyond the network, reports even state that Rust's global penetration has almost quadrupled in the last 2 years: from 600,000 developers in the first quarter of 2020 to 2.2 million in the first quarter of this year.

Job openings that list Rust as a qualification are also multiplying. While there were 164 job openings in the UK in May 2021, nearly 1.5 years later there are 785 job openings in September 2022:

May 2021 vs. September 2022 (Source: itjobswatch)

In Germany - on LinkedIn alone - there are currently 389 jobs advertised - out of 3,288 candidates on the platform who claim to have Rust skills. As a LinkedIn Talent Pool Report showed: The demand for staff is high. The top locations are Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart.

Why you should learn Rust

These are all clear signs that Rust has gained traction recently. But is it just another trending technology that will soon disappear? Chances are the opposite will be true: According to Rebecca Rumbul, Executive Director of the Rust Foundation, "Rust is a good choice for developers looking to improve their career prospects as the demand for Rust developers continues to grow." Rust would be increasingly used in IoT projects in particular, but also in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) development.

In the future, Rust could even become one of the most popular languages for IoT - for devices with tiny processors and little RAM, but which require a high level of security. Given its relationships with large technology companies, Rust is also likely to become a preferred programming language for web companies that provide web services to millions of users. Especially with digitalisation, more and more embedded product manufacturers will then introduce additional web and cloud connectivity or technologies or features. So if Rust becomes more and more important for web companies, this will also have an effect on embedded software developers or manufacturers of embedded products.

The promising plans for a new, easier-to-learn edition of Rust in 2024 provide another reason why people should learn this programming language. The process is to be simplified to such an extent that developers will only have to deal with the inherent complexity of their domain - and no longer with the complexity of Rust. Especially for embedded development, working with Rust should not only become possible, but above all much less complicated.

Last but not least: Those who have Rust skills prove that they go beyond the basics, regardless of whether Rust is necessarily required for the position or not. Those who master Rust will therefore stand out from the crowd in the future and additionally secure top opportunities in the embedded software sector. The earlier you start learning, the better!

Find a position as a Rust expert - with Amoria Bond

Are you getting started with Rust or are you already a professional? Are you looking for a new challenge in the field of embedded software where you can apply your skills? Then feel free to contact my specialised team and me.
With our focus on the embedded sector, we are linked to numerous relevant companies in the field. This means we can give you access to exclusive jobs that are not apparent to the general public. Plus, when you work with us, you'll receive professional coaching and the support you need during your application process.

Contact us today and we'll be happy to help. We work responsibly and transparently: on our website you will also find a lot more information about the many benefits of using a recruitment consultant in your job search.