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OpenSource: Yet Another Way To Learn Rust

by Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

I read the Rust book twice. Also Comprehensive Rust from Google. Things did not click as i forgot ownership fast when digesting other topics. The Rust book has a lot of concepts to cover. I lost a lot of time starting again. I really wanted to get my feet wet and started programming on some playgrounds as well as trying some Maturin examples.

Playgrounds are fine. Until you try to code something on your machine. I thought rustc was how you built things / run scripts. I tried cargo finally and everything worked like a charm. At this point i decided to code something fun which would have the right balance between motivation and fun. It should also ideally have some stuffs i can do, so that i can focus on upskilling in Rust rather than figuring out what to try out next.

I decided to port Python’s library called rich over in a crate called richterm. Since it’s a port, i had a syllabus to cover, a lot of todos to tackle already. This in itself carved a path where i learnt Rust progressively. It was like learning Rust by tackling challenges meaningfully.

In the beginning i used only functions. I wanted the print function to support both arrays and vectors. This introduced me to rust generics. I also got a gentle introduction to &str and String. Then i saw the need for classes, i explored struct. To hold data, i explored hashmap. Then attempting threads for spinners. I even have the luxury to pause and continue working when i like, for example while coding the panel feature by saving it as a pull request. I also got people helping out.

Ah, i also got used to defining modules and adding a crate and use it. I discovered and how to add projects to use.

I could not have asked for a better way to learn Rust. The community is willing to teach. Building an OpenSource product introduces you to some good practices. I’d say think of a nice-to-have thing and give it a try. I even learnt about cargo fmt while contributing to libSQL.

I’d say this way is far more lively, real and entertaining! I am not a Rust expert but it motivates me to keep pursuing my Rust journey.

– Reddit