We interviewed 19 Rust developers who regularly use unsafe. Now, we need your help to evaluate what we learned!

Have you ever engaged with unsafe Rust? Please consider completing our community survey! All eligible participants who provide a link to their profile on either GitHub or the Rust Programming Language Forums with active account activity before the time this post was published will be entered into a drawing for one of two $250 gift cards to their choice of Amazon, Target, or Starbucks.


I’m a PhD Student at Carnegie Mellon University, and I’m running a mixed-methods study on Rust developers' motivations for using unsafe. We reached out earlier this year and interviewed 19 Rust developers who “regularly write or edit” unsafe code. This community survey targets a broader population and combines themes we learned from our interviews and related qualitative research. It should take 20 minutes to complete.


Should probably clarify how eligible those vouchers are outside the US/NA. A Target voucher at least is probably useless outside the US, and I think there are exactly four Starbucks in my entire country, all in the capital.


For what it's worth, donating the $250 to a food bank or animal shelter in Pittsburgh strikes me as a good fourth choice.

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We're somewhat limited by our IRB in terms of what types of compensation we can distribute. A charity donation is a great suggestion! I'll look into this, and @jdahlstrom, if you have any ideas, let me know and I'll see what we can add. I'll update each of our posts and the survey itself if we are able to provide more options than what is currently listed.

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One thing that I'm noticing as I go through it is the questions about runtime checks. I am marking "sometimes", but this is a tricky one to answer. I'll frequently include debug assertions, which are present in debug builds but not release.


Thanks for sharing your perspective! We'll be taking that into account in our interpretation of the results from this question—it could have been presented better to identify specific types of runtime checks and the contexts in which they can occur.

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