RustConf 2020 thoughts

Last year, I went to RustConf 2019 in Portland. It was a lovely conference. Everyone I saw was so exuberantly happy to be there--it was just remarkable. It was my first RustConf. Plus while I've been sort-of learning Rust for a while and cursorily related to Rust things (I work on crash ingestion and debug symbols things), I haven't really done any Rust work. Still, it was a remarkable and very exciting conference.

RustConf 2020 was entirely online. I'm in UTC-4, so it occurred during my afternoon and evening. I spent the entire time watching the RustConf 2020 stream and skimming the channels on Discord. Everyone I saw on the channels were so exuberantly happy to be there and supportive of one another--it was just remarkable. Again! Even virtually!

I missed the in-person aspect of a conference a bit. I've still got this thing about conferences that I'm getting over, so I liked that it was virtual because of that and also it meant I didn't have to travel to go.

I enjoyed all of the sessions--they're all top-notch! They were all pretty different in their topics and difficulty level. The organizers should get gold stars for the children's programming between sessions. I really enjoyed the "CAT!" sightings in the channels--that was worth the entrance fee.

This is a summary of the talks I wrote notes for.

Opening Keynote

Manish Goregaokar, Niko Matsakis, Mark Rousskov, Aidan Hobson Sayers, Ashley Williams, Nick Cameron.

I love RustConf keynotes. They're intentional, thoughtful, and just the best.

Error Handling Isn't All About Errors

Jane Lusby

I've been confused about error handling because there are so many options and it seems like the options change over time. I found this really helpful.

How to Start a Solo Project that You’ll Stick With

Harrison Bachrach

I've been doing solo projects for ages and sticking with them isn't really a problem that I have. But this is a lovely talk and generalizes to keeping momentum on any kind of thing through habit formation.

Bending the Curve: A Personal Tutor at Your Fingertips

Esteban Kuber

The explanatory errors the Rust compiler spits out are profoundly helpful. This talk which covers why that is, how it came to be, and where it's going was fascinating.

My First Rust Project: Creating a Roguelike with Amethyst

Micah Tigley

The closing keynote at RustConf 2018 covered ECS, so I was a little familiar with some of the things covered in this talk. I hadn't seen Amethyst before, so everything about Amethyst was new to me. In the Discord channel for this talk, people kept mentioning Bevy. I didn't see any comparisons between the two engines.

My notes suggest that I look at both engines at some point, but I don't write games and don't have time to explore that, so I'm not sure what i was thinking at the time.

Controlling Telescope Hardware with Rust

Ashley Hauck

The pictures that Ashley got on her telescope were stunning. The talk walks through the setup and code involved and it's amazing stuff.

Macros for a More Productive Rust


I'm not at the macro stage, yet, but it was really helpful to watch this so as to get an understanding of how macros work in Rust, the restrictions, and how they affect compilation.

Rust for Non-Systems Programmers

Rebecca Turner

This talk was possibly the most relevant to me because I'm still learning Rust. I have a lot of notes from this one and plan to re-watch it soon.

Closing Keynote

Siân Griffin

This talk blew my mind. And the costume changes!!!

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