RustFest Barcelona 2019

The previous weekend I attended RustFest Barcelona 2019 and here you can read some of my personal highlights.

Written in Events by David Morcillo — November 15, 2019

The previous weekend I had the opportunity to be an attendee at the RustFest Barcelona 2019. It was an amazing conference, the content was really good and I enjoyed most of the talks. I want to give a huge thank you to the organizers because as part of the Full Stack Fest team myself I know it's not an easy job.

I want to share some of the talks that I enjoyed the most:

R-Evolution. A story of Rust adoption

Ryan Levick and Sebastian Fernandez started their presentation with a big C++ logo on the screen telling us that we have a problem because the language is very unsafe. Around 70% of all security bugs are related to memory safety and here it is where Rust really shines.

In Rust, there is a clear boundary in what is safe and what is not so it is the perfect solution to write software. In order to adopt Rust in our company, we need to have memory safety in mind as a clear benefit but we also need to take care of the human challenge: convincing and training other members of our team.

66h of Rust

Claudia Saxer started working with Rust a month ago. She even sent the talk application before having any experience with Rust!

During the presentation, Claudia compared her experience with the movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". As a Rust learner myself I could relate to some of the problems that she found while creating an application with Rust and WebAssembly. She ended the presentation recommending to learn Rust to become a better developer.

Powering crowd-sourcing of public transit delays with Rust

Neville Dipale explained that train users in South Africa suffer delays between 20 and 90 minutes every single day. In order to help them, he developed an Android application to collect delay information about every train and share with other users through twitter and push notifications.

The first version of the application was implemented with Javascript+Kotlin and used around 20Gb of RAM. The current version is implemented with Rust and uses around 500Mb, wow!

He finally added his reasons to use Rust: stability and performance!

aync/.await with async-std

The timing for Florian Gilcher presentation was perfect with the announcement of Rust 1.39.0 version because async/.await is now stable!

He introduced the library async-std which implements a part of the Rust standard library using asynchronous functions. The talk was a bit technical and he explained the difference between concurrency and parallelism really well.

He also gave some examples of how to use the library and it looks really easy to use. Can't wait (pun intended) to give it a try!

The human cost of development

Katharina Fey closed the conference with a fantastic talk about the human cost of development. She started talking about the technical debt and why it is mainly caused by social reasons like lots of meetings, deadlines and doing things fast vs doing things right.

Humans tend to burnout under these conditions and most of the time this is framed by productivity issues when it has nothing to do with it. We need to stop talking about productivity and fix the root of the problem, looking for a win-win solution. The tech industry has a real burnout problem and it is in our hands to prevent it.

As individuals we need to realize our power and take control of the situation but you are not alone and your co-wokers can help!

Wrapping up, I want to mention I am really excited to see the community of Rust growing every day with some good foundations. I wondered why Rust keeps being the most loved language in Stack Overflow over the years and after attending a Rust-centric conference I could grasp some of the passion and effort that are put into it 🦀.

Cover photo by Rod Long

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