Benefits of Rust

Some unique selling points of Rust:

  • Compile time memory safety - whole classes of memory bugs are prevented at compile time

    • No uninitialized variables.
    • No double-frees.
    • No use-after-free.
    • No NULL pointers.
    • No forgotten locked mutexes.
    • No data races between threads.
    • No iterator invalidation.
  • No undefined runtime behavior - what a Rust statement does is never left unspecified

    • Array access is bounds checked.
    • Integer overflow is defined (panic or wrap-around).
  • Modern language features - as expressive and ergonomic as higher-level languages

    • Enums and pattern matching.
    • Generics.
    • No overhead FFI.
    • Zero-cost abstractions.
    • Great compiler errors.
    • Built-in dependency manager.
    • Built-in support for testing.
    • Excellent Language Server Protocol support.
This slide should take about 3 minutes.

Do not spend much time here. All of these points will be covered in more depth later.

Make sure to ask the class which languages they have experience with. Depending on the answer you can highlight different features of Rust:

  • Experience with C or C++: Rust eliminates a whole class of runtime errors via the borrow checker. You get performance like in C and C++, but you don’t have the memory unsafety issues. In addition, you get a modern language with constructs like pattern matching and built-in dependency management.

  • Experience with Java, Go, Python, JavaScript…: You get the same memory safety as in those languages, plus a similar high-level language feeling. In addition you get fast and predictable performance like C and C++ (no garbage collector) as well as access to low-level hardware (should you need it)