Additional ways to support this community?

Hello Everyone,

I feel like I owe a profound debt to the generosity and patience of the people on this message board. I feel like I am almost competent with Rust (at least until too many generic types are involved). Without y'all I probably would have given up a long time ago.

I try to answer newcomers' questions, but I feel like my answers aren't as good as yours (not as nuanced, not as thorough, or just not as confident). I still try, but I'm definitely still an apprentice.

So I am asking: are there other ways to support this community? For example, open source projects I could donate money towards (Patreon kind of thing, etc.?)

Thanks.

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I feel like I'm in a similar boat, I was thinking about this recently!

I think passing it forward as you are doing is genuinely the best thing. You'll get better at answering questions and will learn things as you improve. Even if your explanations aren't "the best" they are still going to be very helpful!

Remember that everyone here is here because they want to be, I think we enjoy helping people and learn things ourselves while doing so. If people come and get a question answered kindly and helpfully and then move on that's ok. If they thank people for their effort answering, that's always nice! Answers are given freely.

I feel you can also contribute by continuing to ask questions. Like in any learning environment, if you have a question, chances are others will have the same question and they might be too afraid to ask.

If you can ask high quality questions that's nice. I'm thinking of things like taking the time to make a rust playground with a minimal example: explaining what you are trying to do, showing the error / problem you are having; showing what you have already tried, and so on. More people can benefit from your question.

If you are polite and respectful of the time and effort of people answering your question, it will be a pleasure to answer.

Not everyone will have time to do this though, so I understand the question of there are financial ways to show your appreciation. Some people will have personal donation programs like GitHub sponsors.

It's probably a bit awkward to do that here in the forum. Curious if people have other ideas.

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Confidence is gained over time. As someone experienced with Rust, I still have to rely on the compiler to yell at me on occasion. Rust is by no means an easy language and I don't think anyone would claim so. Any assistance you give to newcomers is surely greatly appreciated by the recipient, even if it may not be the most idiomatic or performant.

Small things go a long ways. Typo in documentation? Something needs a better explanation? Send a pull request; the maintainer will appreciate it.

If you find a project you'd like to donate to, check their GitHub repository and/or profile. A number (including my own) have links for how to support, whether it be GitHub sponsors, Patreon, PayPal, or whatever else. Speaking as someone who takes donations, it's by no means expected!

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First off, thank you for being an amazing person :slightly_smiling_face:

I actually think you are at the best level of experience to be answering questions - the problem with increased experience is you become so used to advanced concepts that they become commonplace for you. That makes it too easy for you to confuse the OP with obscure terminology or derail the thread by quibbling over subtleties which aren't really relevant.

You also don't need to give the most detailed or complete answer to resolve someone's problem. Even thinking out loud or providing some useful links can be enough to help someone reach the solution themselves.

Something the Rust community is really good at is making documentation and resources for beginners. Want to learn the language syntax or how to use generics? Go read the book. Looking for hands-on challenges? Check out Rustlings or one of the hundreds of programming challenge sites.

However once you've mastered the basics you tend to reach a cliff where the number of available resources quickly dwindles. There are some resources (the little book of rust macros, the nomicon, Jon Gjengset's streams on Youtube, etc.) but they become a lot fewer and far between.

If you enjoy writing then I'd suggest trying your hand at writing articles about Rust. For example, you might try a new library and write a walkthrough of how it works, or maybe you've come across a clever trick on the user forums and want to explore what makes it tick. I missed these sorts of "Rust in the real world" articles when I started with the language and writing them for myself has actually been a really good tool for learning and gaining confidence.

These resources also tend to have a lot wider reach because articles on your website are easily searchable while forum posts tend to get buried or quickly become outdated.

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That's no problem! Often a beginner's perspective on a beginner question will be better than somebody's who see's the whole big picture. Sometimes the answers of experienced rustaceans are a little too experience, and even when somebody gives a really good answer, sometimes other people have good ideas to.

Yeah, documentation is often really hard to write, especially in a way that will make sense to somebody unfamiliar with whatever is being documented, so if you ever figure out how something works, and find it wasn't documented, or maybe there wasn't an example for something you wanted to do, that could be a huge way to help, especially because it will help others who will land in your situation. Your perspective is exactly the kind you want for writing docs!

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