Elixir vs Rust

Elixir vs Rust: What to Learn in 2023

Elixir is a dynamic, high-level, functional language for building scalable and maintainable applications. Elixir runs on the Erlang Virtual Machine, known for creating low-latency, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems.

If you want to work on web applications, real-time applications, fault-tolerant applications, embedded systems, and automation tools, you should learn Elixir.

On the other hand, Rust is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language that emphasizes performance, type safety, and concurrency.


If you are interested in building command line tools, network services, embedded systems, webAssembly, or systems programming, you should learn Rust.

Rust stats

Comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use for your next project can be tricky, there are many factors to consider in order to choose the right programming language for the job you want to do.

Popularity, opportunities, type of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use.

Here are some of the comparisons and considerations you should make when choosing to learn a new programming language.

ELIXIR VS RUST POPULARITY

Comparing the popularity of programming languages is not an easy task because each programming language is different.

Although the usage of many programming languages may intersect, different fields and projects may require the use of different programming languages.

Plus, other programming languages have been around for a longer time than others, giving them more time to be tried and tested, so, bear that in mind.

If you want to learn a programming language or framework solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn Rust over Elixir.

Generally, Rust is more popular than Elixir. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Rust is the 14th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 8.80% of professional developers.

On the other hand, Elixir is the 28th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 2.46% of professional developers according to the same survey.

Rust continues to grow in popularity and it has received a lot of love from the developer community, Rust has been the most loved programming language for seven years straight.

As of 2022, Rust is loved by 86.73% of developers versus 13.27% of developers who dreaded it.

On the other hand, Elixir is the second most loved programming language. It is loved by 75.46% of developers versus 24.54% of developers who dreaded it.

Ultimately, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Rust.

ELIXIR VS RUST SALARIES

Another popular criterion that many people use to compare programming languages and as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.

Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.

Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned. The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.

Generally, Elixir developers get higher salaries than Rust developers. According to a Stack Overflow survey of top-paying programming languages, Elixir developers get an average salary of $92,959 per year.

On the other hand, Rust developers get an average salary of $87,047 per year, about $5,900 less than Elixir developers.

Elixir vs Rust Salaries

So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a language or framework, you should learn Elixir over Rust, because you are more likely to get a higher salary as an Elixir developer than as a Rust developer.

Here are 10 Programming Languages that Pay more than $90,000

ELIXIR VS RUST WHICH ONE IS EASY

Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others.

Generally, Elixir is easier and more beginner-friendly than Rust. If you are a fan of functional programming languages, you will pick up Elixir very quickly.

Functional programming promotes a coding style that helps developers write code that is short, concise, and maintainable. This makes writing Elixir code quick and straightforward.

On the other hand, Rust can be a little bit challenging, especially for complete beginners. If you are familiar with systems programming, you will find Rust very easy and straightforward.

When you are targeting low-resource devices, Rust will give you low-level control without giving up high-level conveniences, this makes it a little bit easy to work on systems.

The good news is that there are plenty of helpful resources for both Rust and Elixir to help you learn the languages. The Rust and Elixir communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.

ELIXIR VS RUST PERFORMANCE

If you plan on working on applications where top-notch performance is critical, you should use Rust over Elixir.

Rust has great unique features that make it suitable for building command line tools, network services, embedded systems, and more. One of the best features of Rust is how it handles memory.

While developers have to manually handle memory management in languages like C++ or use a garbage collector with languages like Elixir, Java, C#, Kotlin, Go, etc. Rust takes a unique approach;

Developers can still handle memory without shooting themselves in the foot with a concept of ownership and borrowing. This makes it easy and quick to build reliable and efficient software.

Rust can also interface with other programming languages such as C and C++, it has a foreign function interface that can be used to call code written in C from Rust and to call Rust code from C.

Rust also has a library called CXX that can be used to call C++ code from Rust and to call Rust Code from C++.

There are many companies using Rust, some of the popular ones include Dropbox, Firefox, Cloudflare, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Discord, Mozilla, NPM, etc.

On the other hand, Elixir runs on the Erlang VM, known for creating low-latency, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems. It is also designed to handle large data volumes.

These capabilities and Elixir tooling helps developers to be productive in several domains, such as telecommunications, web development, embedded software, data pipelines, and multimedia processing, across a wide range of industries.

To help developers build fault-tolerant systems, Elixir provides supervisors which describe how to restart parts of your system when things go wrong.

Elixir is also compatible with Erlang, this gives developers complete access to the Erlang ecosystem. An Elixir programmer can invoke any Erlang function with no runtime cost. This helps developers to build robust applications.

Elixir is used by many companies such as Mozilla, Pinterest, Xplane, Ramp, Brex, Discord, Heroku, FarmBot, Duffel, The Outline, Slab, Pepsico, Change.org, Bleacher Report, Inverse, Moz, Divvy, PagerDuty, and many others.

Also read Should web developers know Elixir

SHOULD I LEARN ELIXIR OR RUST

Once you have compared the languages and evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn or use depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.

If you want to work on web applications, real-time applications, fault-tolerant applications, embedded systems, and automation tools, you should learn Elixir over Rust.

If you are interested in developing systems quickly, working on command line tools, network services, embedded systems, and webAssembly, you should learn Rust.