Exercism.io

Exercises are a great way how to start learning a new language.

A new language

When I started learning Rust in the second half of 2019, I first read “ The Book” from the official website. I can highly recommend it. It takes a little longer to get going and many people prefer to go right into writing code, but my first step into this very new territory was intentionally cautious and thorough. I spent my fair share of time on the book.

After the basics

There is also “Rust by example” which is more hands on. I went through it after reading the book relatively quickly, it is also very well made. At this stage jumping on some exercises is the perfect time. Experimenting with different approaches to new problems and fighting the typical hurdles of a new programming language is ideal. Rust especially has a slightly higher learning curve than other languages that try to be more similar to each other. On the other hand, I only spent a lot of time on JavaScript before Rust, so I went into it with a still rather flexible mind. I’m sure that helped allot.

Where to exercise

When learning JavaScript, I also used to do some exercises on pages like codecademy.com, codingame.com and codewars.com. All of them are wonderful and totally free options for beginners. Especially codewars seamed to provide close to unlimited content and a great way how to compare solutions with others. It’s really amazing how many good and free options there are to learn and improve at coding.

Exercism

In the Rust community, I heard recommendations about exercism.io. That’s where I first found the page. I can’t praise this website enough. I spent a few months around the end of 2019, doing exercises in Rust several times a week. At that time, I was able to get real reviews by mentors on the page, guiding me through the solutions. Later when the language became more popular, there were not enough mentors to give direct reviews. It was still possible to progress through an “unguided” track though and compare your solutions to those from other users.

Final thoughts

By the time of writing, I don’t spend much time on Rust anymore. I have two other goals that I want to reach by the end of the year. But If I get the itch to play around with some Rust again, I still left some untouched exercises on the page and I’m sure I would have some good fun with it, while also learning some new practices and ways to think about coding.

PS

At the beginning on this website, the picture slider, the second picture that is saying “Developer”. That background was my own screenshot, a little edited in gimp, from one of my last exercises on exercism.

Radim Janoš
Radim Janoš
Developer

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