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Why Rust developers are hired with no real experience

If you're trying to get a job as a developer in crypto, it will help to know how to code in Rust. You may not even know how to code in Rust all that well. 

One systematic hedge fund in London is currently advertising a role on eFinancialCareers for a Rust developer with no specific Rust experience. All that's needed is, "a strong interest in using Rust." The developer in question will then be building a trading platform from scratch.


We've been flagging the shortage of Rust developers for a while. Rust can be used to write smart contracts and has been embraced enthusiastically by the crypto community. "It has all the speed of C++, but is a lot safer to use," says Jim Greco, the New York-based crypto trader who just left Steve Cohen-backed Radkl to found his own fund. Safety is particularly important in crypto, when you're dealing with encryption and irreversible transactions, adds Greco.  "Rust is also the native language of Solana which has attracted a lot of VC money and attention among the developer community," he points out. 

Rust is unquestionably a popular language to use. It consistently ranks as the most loved language on the Stack Overflow Developer Survey and is easier to learn than C++. Greco confirms that Rust developers are in heavy demand in the crypto industry. The only problem is that there are very few of them, and there are even fewer who know the language really well.

This shortage of Rust talent is highlighted in the newly released Rust developer survey, completed by 9,354 respondents. This found that while 75% of Rust users said they can write production ready code, only 7% claimed to be an expert in Rust and only 40% claimed to be productive when programming in the language. Another 17% said writing Rust code was a "struggle" although they could do it, and 24% said they could only write simple Rust programmes. 

The upshot is that companies hiring Rust developers need to be flexible. At this stage, very few people are really good Rust programmers; most people are just muddling through. For the moment, recruiters are prepared to make allowances. This may not always be the case.

"The only people who really know Rust now have graduated in the past few years," says Olly Thompson, a recruiter at GQR. "But as long as you know C++ you will be able to shift into Rust."

Register with eFinancialCareers if you want to be contacted by recruiters hiring for Rust jobs

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • St
    Steve OConnor
    17 February 2022

    If you can't write quality, high performance, safe code in Asm/C/C++, etc .... Then hoping that Rust will magically fix the problem is a train wreck waiting to happen.

    Sounds like they are recruiting experienced C++ Devs anyway, so it's not quite like the headline makes it sound. All these guys should already know how the machine works, and use the high level language as shorthand to emit machine code.

    The real problem is going to hit when millions of JS and python Devs start churning out rust code, because cool factor and high paying jobs.

    I'm hoping to retire to my off grid farm away from the city before these people destroy everything with their shitty design patterns, language theory and best practices.

  • Da
    Daniel Gabriele
    17 February 2022

    If you have a CS degree, chances are, you'll do better in this arena. There's more than just the language itself that makes Solana programming difficult to do well.

  • Th
    The world is tired
    17 February 2022

    And like all programming languages, out of that 7% who call themselves experts, 1% really are and 6% are so far at the bottom of the ability scale that they can't see how little they know :)

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