Stream: rust-survey-2020

Topic: questions about Rust being used for complete beginners


Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 19:57, on Zulip):

Do you think it would be possible to include a question or two in the survey asking for opinions on what people think we need to make Rust a language suitable for people completely new to programming?
This is something Steve, me, and many others have been talking about for years, and I have a feeling we're starting to get to the point where that's almost feasible.
I haven't figured out what the exact wording would be, but something along the lines of this might work: "What barriers do you see to Rust being used as a first programming language for complete beginners to programming?"
This is something I think it would be very interesting to get data on. If for nothing else, it can be used to give us an idea of where the accessibility problems are in the language.

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 19:58, on Zulip):

I think we already have something similar, but something that might be useful are some questions that ask people to gauge the difficulty they had learning different Rust concepts on a scale of 1 to 10

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 19:58, on Zulip):

I think we already ask what concepts are hard, but I don't know if we do a numbered scale for each

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

Not sure but

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

we are about to share out a draft copy

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

I think we have some questions roughly in that direction

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

Maybe you can make some concrete suggestions there?

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

Great! Looking forward to seeing it :)

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

Is there a link I can access yet or is that still to be made public?

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

My main hesitation here is that we are running a bit slow this year

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 19:59, on Zulip):

We're making a copy that is world editable and we'll post it shortly

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 20:00, on Zulip):

(If it's not editable, you can't see the questions, you have to actually take the survey)

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 20:00, on Zulip):

The idea is not that you edit it directly ;)

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:00, on Zulip):

kk sounds good. Running a bit slow as in falling behind on making the survey?

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 20:00, on Zulip):

Yeah I just want to be sure we have time to get it out, give time for people to answer, and then procs the results

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:01, on Zulip):

Okay. I'll be sure to do it asap when the survey gets released :)

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 20:01, on Zulip):

it took us a bit to find who would do the work of processing the results ( :heart: @Jasun Carr)

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:06, on Zulip):

The "How would you rate the difficulty of learning these concepts/topics?" is exactly what i was looking for :)

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:13, on Zulip):

@nikomatsakis @Jasun Carr I added a couple of items to that question for more basic concepts that might inform how we teach Rust to beginners. I also added a couple of more advanced concepts that might be relevant as well. I know there's a lot there now, so feel free to remove a few if I've added too many :)

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:22, on Zulip):

I also added a question "What had you start learning Rust?". I think this will help us gauge why people start learning this language? That's really important when considering resources for beginners because you want to know what's motivating people to start learning at all

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:23, on Zulip):

I tried to pick from common reasons I know, but I'm definitely open to other suggestions that people might have

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:23, on Zulip):

pasted image

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:24, on Zulip):

We might want to simplify the question and just ask "Why did you start learning Rust?"

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:24, on Zulip):

I'm not sure what had me pick "What had you" instead of "Why did you", but it might make a difference to some people

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:25, on Zulip):

Oh I just saw that we already have "How did you get interested in Rust?"

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:26, on Zulip):

That's fine too. I kind of like the idea of having the checkboxes in my version of the question, but I'm fine with whatever you deem better

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:26, on Zulip):

I moved the questions right beside each other so you can pick which one to keep

nikomatsakis (Nov 19 2019 at 20:28, on Zulip):

OK -- one thing I would note is that we're generally trying to keep the survey "close to" the original form to aid in year-over-year tracking

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:28, on Zulip):

That's fair

Sunjay Varma (Nov 19 2019 at 20:29, on Zulip):

Since the question I added matches with an existing question, you could always merge the two. That shouldn't impact the year-over-year tracking since the previous version was open ended

Josh Triplett (Nov 20 2019 at 14:19, on Zulip):

A suggestion: how about a question saying "how many other programming languages did already you know when you originally started learning Rust?", with options for 0, 1, 2-5, or 6+?

Josh Triplett (Nov 20 2019 at 14:20, on Zulip):

(Bucketing subject to bikeshedding.) I would really like to know the language experience of Rust learners.

Jasun Carr (Nov 20 2019 at 22:22, on Zulip):

Added question from @Josh Triplett re: # of programming languages (options: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6+)

Jasun Carr (Nov 20 2019 at 22:29, on Zulip):

That's fine too. I kind of like the idea of having the checkboxes in my version of the question, but I'm fine with whatever you deem better

Are these checkboxes the common responses to the open-ended question in the past? If so, let's use them and include an "Other" option for people to long-form answer if needed.
If these aren't from last year (and I don't see the question in the Rust Survey 2018 results) I'd say we go with open-ended again, and then analyze that for common themes (that we can use as checkboxes next year)

Last update: Dec 12 2019 at 01:35UTC