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How to become a professional Rust developer

  • By Victoria Li
  • Published on April 30

In the vast landscape of programming languages, Rust stands out as a champion of memory safety, speed and concurrency. This powerful language is rapidly gaining traction, particularly within the burgeoning Web3 space, but its strengths go far beyond a single application. 

Let’s delve into what makes Rust unique and explore the core features propelling it to the forefront of modern development.

Advantages of learning Rust in Web3

As traditional languages struggle to meet the security and performance demands of Web3, companies across various sectors of Web3 are actively seeking out developers with Rust expertise. 

This includes blockchain development for building secure and scalable core infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols for crafting robust smart contracts that manage complex financial interactions efficiently, and decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) development for creating self-governing organizations with secure voting systems and automated functionalities.   But what are Rust’s unique abilities that make it stand out? Here are some defining features:

Security first

Web3 applications handle sensitive data and financial assets. Rust’s memory safety and ownership model are game changers. Unlike languages prone to buffer overflows and dangling pointers, Rust eliminates these vulnerabilities by design. This inherent security makes Rust a natural choice for building trustless systems where even the smallest error can be catastrophic.

Speed demon

Web3 applications need to handle a high volume of transactions efficiently. Here’s where Rust shines. Its focus on performance and compiled nature translate to lightning-fast execution. This is crucial for ensuring scalability as Web3 adoption grows.

Scaling up with concurrency

Web3 thrives on parallel processing. Rust’s powerful concurrency features, like channels and mutexes, allow developers to build applications that can handle multiple tasks seamlessly. This enables efficient resource utilization and supports the growth of complex Web3 ecosystems.

Building blocks for success

The Rust ecosystem is brimming with innovative crates (libraries) designed explicitly for Web3 development. From building secure smart contracts with tools like Ink! to crafting efficient blockchain applications with Substrate, Rust offers a comprehensive toolkit for Web3 projects.

Developer’s paradise

Rust boasts a robust and supportive community. Whether you’re diving into Rust programming tutorials, exploring best practices on forums or collaborating on open-source projects, the Rust community provides invaluable resources for learning and growth. 

Additionally, powerful tooling streamlines the development process. From code editors with Rust syntax highlighting to advanced linters promoting code quality, the Rust tooling ecosystem empowers developers to build efficiently.

Learning the Rust fundamentals is the key

The Rust Programming Language book is your comprehensive guide. It delves into Rust syntax, covering everything from basic data types and control flow to advanced features like closures and macros. 

Supplement your learning with hands-on practice using Rustlings — a collection of interactive exercises that test your understanding as you code. Numerous online tutorials and courses provide additional resources, each offering a unique approach to mastering Rust.

Rust’s magic lies in its ownership and borrowing system. Unlike traditional languages, Rust ensures memory safety by guaranteeing who “owns” a piece of data at any given time. Borrowing allows temporary access to this data while maintaining ownership. Grasping these concepts is essential for writing secure and efficient Rust code.

The Rust ecosystem offers a treasure trove of libraries specifically designed for Web3 development. Substrate — a robust blockchain framework — allows you to easily build custom blockchains. Ink! provides tools for crafting secure smart contracts that power the logic behind DeFi protocols and DAOs. Frameworks like Rocket streamline the process of building performant web servers for your Web3 applications.

Smart contracts are the backbone of Web3. Rust helps you write secure and efficient smart contracts that can handle complex financial transactions or manage DAO governance systems. Off-chain interactions, where your Web3 application interacts with external data sources, are crucial for real-world integration. Rust allows you to handle these interactions securely and efficiently. Finally, interoperability — the ability of different blockchains to communicate with each other — is a key challenge in Web3. Rust’s powerful features enable you to build applications interacting with various blockchain ecosystems, fostering a more connected and collaborative Web3 future.

Building a Rust project portfolio

Landing your dream Rust developer role in Web3 requires showcasing your expertise with your Rust project portfolio taking center stage. Here are some tips on building it:

Start small, aim big

Don’t wait for a grand project idea. Begin with a simple Web3 application demonstrating core Rust concepts. Explore building a basic blockchain explorer that allows users to search for transactions or a simple smart contract for token exchange. These projects showcase your understanding of Rust syntax and ownership principles.

Embrace open-source

The vibrant Rust community thrives on collaboration. Contributing to open-source Web3 projects is a fantastic way to gain experience, receive mentorship from seasoned developers, and demonstrate your skills to potential employers actively seeking Rust talent.

Challenge accepted

Step outside your comfort zone. Participate in Rust coding challenges on platforms like HackerRank or LeetCode. These challenges test your problem-solving skills and ability to apply Rust concepts in real-world scenarios. Showcase your solutions on GitHub to demonstrate your thought process and coding style.

The learning never stops

Rust is a rapidly evolving language. Stay ahead of the curve by actively engaging with the Rust community. Forums like Reddit’s r/learnrust and the official Rust Discord server offer opportunities to connect with mentors, ask questions and learn from other developers. Attend online meetups and conferences focused on Rust and Web3 to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.


While not mandatory, earning a Rust certification can showcase your dedication and commitment to the language. Explore options like The Rust Programming Language Certification by the Rust Foundation.

Remember, your Rust project portfolio is a living document. Keep adding new projects demonstrating your diverse skillset and growth as a developer. Your active participation in the Rust community and continuous learning journey will solidify your position as a valuable asset in the thriving Web3 landscape. Forget the chase for a single, perfect project, and focus on a portfolio that reflects your passion, growth and ability to solve problems with the power of Rust.