When Time Is of the Essence: A Look at Rust and C++

Programming languages that have stood the test of time and remain widely employed include C and its object-oriented equivalent C++. Although they were developed several decades ago, they are still preferred when programming high-performance systems or managing resources.

From time to time, fresh teams attempt to create and introduce what are often known as “C killers”, programming languages built from the ground up to provide the same advantages as the C family, while also addressing some of the well-known drawbacks.

Java and C# are two examples that exemplify the power of programming languages, with both having active online communities. When considering mobile applications, Java is likely the most popular programming language in use globally.

Thanks to its rapid, secure and efficient characteristics, Rust has been labelled a “C-killer”. While Rust may not be the ultimate replacement for the C family, it is undoubtedly an excellent option for those in search of a contemporary programming language. Its capabilities are executed exceptionally well, making it an excellent choice for programmers seeking robust programming languages.

It is essential to understand that there is no clear-cut answer to the question of which programming language is the fastest. This is due to the complexity of several factors, including how each language executes specific functions and the skill and creativity of the programmer. It is therefore not a competition and should not be treated as such.

Despite Python being considered one of the slower programming languages, an experienced Python programmer may be capable of creating code that runs more efficiently than a novice programmer working with C.

With everything in order, let us now explore the features of Rust and compare them to those of C++ to determine which is the better choice.

High and low-level Capabilities

It is widely acknowledged that both C++ and Rust are categorised as ‘low-level’ programming languages, meaning they are generally regarded as being less ‘high-level’ than languages like JavaScript or Python. Can you elaborate further on what this classification entails?

Computers use calculations and logic to perform their designated functions. For instance, to render the text you are currently reading, your CPU sends an electric signal to each pixel, determining the colour and generating an image.

By following exact mathematical instructions, a computer can produce the letter ‘A’ on a screen, but it has no understanding of what it represents. The technical phrase for such instructions is ‘machine code’. Humans use natural language to communicate with one another, which is situated at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The purpose of a programming language is to facilitate efficient communication between computers and people. Low-level programming languages are more similar to machine code than natural human language.

As higher-level programming languages more closely resemble natural language, greater processing power is necessary to convert them into machine code. Therefore, languages like Python are more straightforward to comprehend but may not offer as much performance and optimisation.

It can be deduced that both Rust and C++ are appropriate for developing understandable code that is fast enough for utilisation in critical applications such as operating systems and driver software.

Safety is a Priority in Rust

Rust was first created by the Mozilla Foundation in 2023, starting as a side project for one of its engineers. However, the organization quickly saw its potential and began investing in it. This decision proved to be wise as Rust quickly gained popularity among programmers since its inception.

The secure concurrency and memory safety offered by Rust are two of the primary reasons why it has gained such widespread popularity.

In software engineering, the term “concurrency” refers to the capacity of a program or software to implement multiple sections of the program or software in a non-sequential or undefined manner.

Suppose your program consists of ten distinct instructions. In that case, if multiple processors are used to execute them simultaneously, they will be completed more quickly than if they were executed sequentially.

Manual threading necessitates greater expertise than the average developer is expected to have, and certain languages require developers to implement threading. To prevent developers from inadvertently causing errors by allowing their code to access data it shouldn’t have, Rust provides static checks for Ownership.

Developers typically handle memory management manually or rely on the computer to perform it through a process known as garbage collection.

While garbage collection is a useful tool, it can be slow, even for seasoned developers, and is limiting in many ways. Rust offers a secure coding environment that eliminates the need for garbage collection by preventing issues such as null pointers, dangling pointers, and data races. This results in fewer bugs and, as a result, speeds up the development process.

In many ways, Rust is like wearing a seatbelt while driving on a racetrack. It offers an extra layer of protection for inexperienced drivers and is recommended even for experienced racers, despite the low likelihood of an accident. This demonstrates the importance of memory security.

C++ is a Programmers’ Haven

It’s impressive how much knowledge and how many libraries have been amassed by C++ over its 36-year history. It’s probable that any concept that’s ever been implemented in C++ has been done so by someone else.

For those who enjoy experimenting with coding, C++ is an excellent choice. The C programming language family is well-known for the level of creative freedom it offers to developers. When used by a skilled coder, it’s a powerful tool that can produce exceptional results, similar to a Stradivarius violin.

Have you ever tried using C++ in conjunction with Windows? How much time do you usually spend watching videos on YouTube, and how well does the programming language facilitate video processing? Furthermore, have you played any games powered by the Unreal Engine, which demonstrates the versatile potential of C++?

Currently, there are far more skilled developers competent in C++ than in Rust, making C++ the more practical alternative for businesses looking to hire engineers. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to anticipate how this distribution may change in the long term.

Research has shown that C++ remains the quickest object-oriented language available. This makes the added accessibility of more libraries advantageous, as it allows developers to utilise a broader array of tools without charge, which can help reduce development time.

How to Make the Right Choice?

The outcomes of this comparison are nearly identical, making it challenging to distinguish one language as the clear champion. Fortunately, this isn’t necessary. This is because Rust and C++ are so compatible that they can be effortlessly used together. Both languages have demonstrated themselves to be valuable resources for software development.

When it comes to prioritising speed for your project, it becomes a decision between the security of Rust and the versatility of C++.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs