Rust Code Reading Club

TL;DR: Join us to read rustc source code and learn how things work!

If you want to be a writer, you must read. This is a truism repeated by many prominent writers of the 20th century including: Hemingway, Bradbury, King and so on. As it turns out the same is true for writing code or building software, if you prefer.

Niko Matsakis introduced me to this fascinating and insightful book, The Programmer’s Brain, about becoming a better developer by learning how to read code and even learn to read code quickly. The author, Felienne Hermans also leads a monthly Code Reading Club where developers come together to practice their reading skills by sight reading some unknown code snippets. It has been fun to learn how various developers of different skill levels approach the task of reading code. Some focus on what is returned from functions to grok the code’s purpose while others attend to the various structures like structs, functions or whatever is present in a given code snippet.

In my discussions with Niko about how to build the capability to mentor and onboard groups of contributors to the Rust language project, we were both intrigued by the potential of using a code reading club to understand Rust’s compiler, rustc. This implementation of code reading clubs will vary a bit from it’s model and namesake as understanding sections of the compiler will require working through larger sections of code. For example to analyze and grasp rustc’s name resolver will require examining multiple files and dependencies for the crate.

If you have ever wanted to learn more about rustc, how it works and at the same time strengthen your Rust skills, join us as we learn from the code and each other.

The first session of the Rust Code Reading Club will happen on November 4, 2021 at 12 PM, ET and last 90 mins. To learn more check out “What is this?” If you’d like to find other ways to contribute to the effort be sure to read the FAQ section.

“If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist.” — Philippe Krutchen