Julian Fell

Motivations

Software, as with anything in life, can be sparked for a million possible motivations. Sometimes you want to remind yourself that not all codebases have to be as ugly as the one at your day job. Sometimes you want to try out that shiny newtechnology the boss won’t let you touch. Some people just dream of being the next Dan Abramov.

Because they can potentionally become useful or profitable, the success (or lack thereof) of software projects are often judged from a purely pragmatic perspective. I find this absurdly reductive. Writing software can be as much an art as writing music and yet their finished forms are viewed through an entirely different lense.

I built my latest project using Rust for a few reasons, none of which were particularly pragmatic. Ideological would be a better description.

As our planet faces an existential threat born of overconsumption, many facets of my lifestyle have shifted towards something resembling minimalism. If my shopping, travelling and eating habits are affected, why not the way I write (or think about) software.

With software eating more and more of the world, we should be holding the programs we interact with to a higher standard of quality and correctness. And that starts with the foundations of the stack along with our philosophy and approach to wielding them.

These trends lead me to be bullish on the future of Rust, particularly for projects with a high impact. I would prefer to align myself with innovative use of technology for the betterment of the planet than collect a big paycheck for building the next Facebook. The “Move fast and break things” mentality is how we ended up with an environment in peril and the antidote is making things to last.