How to Integrate Independent Rust Developers into Your Projects

8 min

As the popularity of Rust continues to rise, companies are increasingly leveraging the language for its outstanding performance, memory safety, and concurrency support. Although recruiting Rust developers on a permanent basis is a key priority for many employers, a growing trend is emerging; firms deciding to work with freelance Rust developers for specific projects. 

This hiring decision offers many benefits, including cost-effectiveness, specialised expertise, and access to a broader range of high-quality candidates. This begs a significant question for firms looking to improve their software projects - would my business benefit from the expertise of an independent Rust developer? 

This guide will help you answer this key question. We’ll cover the advantages, considerations, and best practices associated with integrating independent Rust developers into your projects. 

The Advantages of Working With Freelance Rust Developers

It’s no secret that Rust programming language has taken the software development world by storm. With an increasing number of businesses choosing to leverage Rust for its exceptional performance, memory safety, and concurrency support, it is unsurprising that the amount of Rust developers has risen from 2.2 million in 2022 to 3.5 million in 2023. 

This sharp rise will certainly be music to the ears of tech companies looking to incorporate Rust into their projects. However, this begs a very important question - is it better to hire full-time or freelance Rust developers? Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on your unique business needs, but there are many significant advantages to choosing to work with independent Rust developers. 

Let’s examine the key benefits of working with freelance software developers who specialise in Rust: 

  • Immediate Start: A common challenge businesses face when hiring permanent employees is dealing with lengthy recruitment processes. Conducting interviews and assessments can take a lot of time, and even when the ideal candidate is found, employers must wait for them to honour their notice period. In contrast, freelance software developers are typically able to begin their role immediately. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring freelancers eliminates overhead costs associated with full-time employees, such as salaries, benefits, and equipment. You pay only for the project duration or specific hours needed, making it a budget-friendly option, especially for short-term or smaller projects.
  • Diverse Perspectives: By working with freelance software developers, your organisation can benefit from fresh perspectives. Freelancers often work on a wide range of projects across numerous industries, experiences that allow them to devise innovative, out-of-the-box solutions to challenges. Your existing Rust developer team are likely to appreciate the diverse perspectives and ideas that freelancers can offer. 
  • Specialised Expertise: Although Rust is becoming increasingly popular among developers and companies alike, it remains a relatively niche programming language. Freelance software developers who specialise in Rust typically possess deep knowledge and experience with the language, which enables them to navigate intricate projects effectively and deliver exceptional code. 
  • Access to a Wider Talent Pool: Working with freelancers is a surefire method of expanding your talent pool. Many independent Rust developers are accustomed to remote work, meaning that you’ll be able to tap into talent from all over the world without being limited by geographical restraints. If you want your projects to be enhanced with a global touch, integrating independent Rust developers into your projects is a smart move. 

What Are the Challenges of Collaborating With Independent Rust Developers? 

Whether building a new software development project from scratch or maintaining an existing code base, integrating independent Rust experts into your developer team can generate cutting-edge solutions and facilitate outstanding outcomes. However, while there are undoubtedly many benefits to hiring freelance Rust developers, this strategic recruitment decision isn’t without its challenges. 

Here are the most common challenges businesses face when hiring freelancers for Rust developer jobs: 

  • Communication Difficulties: Effective communication is crucial for success in tech projects; however, collaborating with freelancers may prove difficult if they work remotely or from different cultural backgrounds. Issues like language barriers and time differences have the potential to hamper seamless communication. 
  • Code Inconsistencies: Ensuring technical alignment between existing developer teams and freelancers is a necessity. While Rust has a distinct set of coding conventions and best practices, independent developers may have their own language implementation methods. As such, it is imperative to ensure a consistent coding style that adheres to your project’s standards, a task which may pose problems if your freelancer is set in their ways. 
  • Commitment and Motivation: Your existing software developer team is likely already passionate about contributing to your organisation's success; however, maintaining consistent commitment and motivation from a freelancer may prove to be more challenging. This is particularly the case on long-term projects. 
  • Legal Considerations: Clarity on legal considerations like ownership rights and licensing terms is essential when collaborating with freelance Rust developers. Clearly defining intellectual property rights and licensing agreements will help safeguard your business from legal disputes. 
  • Limited Context: Your in-house software developer team will have a thorough knowledge of how individual projects will contribute to your business’s overarching goals. However, independent Rust developers may not share this same level of understanding, and a lack of clarity could lead to misalignment and communication issues. 

Another key consideration for tech companies looking to recruit independent Rust developers is deciding what compensation and benefits to offer. To discover more about compensation benchmarks and the fascinating trends impacting the ever-evolving world of Rust recruitment, check out our 2024 Rust Talent & Salary Report

Key Strategies For Integrating Freelance Rust Developers Into Your Projects

As we explored in the previous section, integrating freelance Rust developers into your projects can be an effective strategy for producing high-quality code. Yet, as with any hiring decision, this move can throw up some pitfalls. While these pain points can conjure difficulties, companies that take the right steps to mitigate these challenges can leverage freelancers' expertise without compromising the project’s results. 

Here, we’ll outline the steps your company should take to successfully integrate freelance software developers into your Rust project: 

1. Clearly Outline Project Requirements

Earlier, we alluded to the fact that ensuring effective communication and providing clarity around project requirements is important when working with independent Rust developers. In fact, research shows that 71% of freelancers believe that excellent communication is one of the best soft skills to possess. By providing your freelancers with detailed information, you can rest assured that they will understand your needs and deliver the desired results. 

The significance of clear communication and transparency cannot be understated. Without it, tech companies risk project timeline delays, code quality issues, and strained relationships. So, what project requirements should freelance Rust developers be aware of? 

Although the answer to that key question will ultimately depend on your organisation’s unique requirement and scope, there are nonetheless several general points of clarity all firms should establish with their freelance software developers: 

  • Project Overview: At the beginning of your relationship with your independent Rust expert, you should describe the project’s target audience, purpose, and expected deliverables. They should also be told about whether the project is brand new or an ongoing maintenance task. 
  • Specific Requirements: It is vital to ensure that your independent developer is familiar with performance expectations, the core functionalities they need to implement, and particular coding standards. 
  • Technical Details: Providing your freelancer with all the pertinent technical details is also essential. From giving them a description of your existing codebase to explaining the testing procedures and frameworks you utilise, ensuring that they are well aware of the project’s technical aspects will enhance their understanding of your goals and expectations. 
  • Project Timeline: It is important to inform your freelance developer of the estimated project timeline and deadlines for key milestones. Be sure to break down the timeline into phases or sprints, indicating when each deliverable is expected to be completed. With this knowledge, they’ll know the actions they must take to ensure that code, documentation, and testing reports are delivered on time. 

2. Utilise Multiple Channels to Source Rust Freelancers

With the demand for Rust developers outpacing the supply of qualified professionals, businesses need to go the extra mile to secure the brightest and best candidates. Consultancy firms help achieve this by diversifying their candidate sourcing channels to access a wider talent pool. Companies that depend on a single recruitment channel risk hindering their chances of attracting the right for their freelance Rust developer jobs. 

Given that 47% of hiring managers are more likely to hire independent professionals than before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is paramount for businesses to get ahead of the curve if they want to bring in high-calibre independent Rust developers. There are several channels companies can use to source freelance software developers, such as: 

  • Rust-Specific Communities: Where is a better place to find Rust developer talent than platforms frequented by Rust specialists? Engaging with Rust developers who regularly post on the Rust subreddit and the forum is an effective method of sourcing high-calibre freelance software developers with the ideal skills to make your project successful. 
  • Freelance Marketplaces: Several specialist marketplaces, including Toptal and Codementor X, allow companies to connect with high-calibre freelancers. These platforms feature lists of pre-vetted freelancers with significant hands-on experience and unrivalled expertise. Independent Rust developers may also be reached via general freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Guru.  
  • Social Media: The power of leveraging social media for recruitment should never be overlooked, as curious freelancers thinking about pursuing contract Rust developer jobs may seek employment opportunities via social media platforms like LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Reddit. 
  • Job Boards: Though a somewhat traditional method, sourcing candidates through posting ads on job boards is still a reliable way to get in touch with candidates. In addition to using general job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor, businesses seeking freelance developer talent can post job vacancies on niche platforms like Stack Overflow and AngelList. 
  • Software Recruitment Agencies: Calling on the services of a dedicated software recruitment agency is a great way to broaden your search for freelance Rust developers. Although this method requires upfront costs, software recruitment agencies can offer a range of services designed to take the stress out of your hiring process. 

Using a combination of these strategies will help your organisation pique the interest of a much larger pool of qualified candidates. Whether you are looking to recruit freelance software developers or just need general information about how to recruit top-quality programmers, our comprehensive How to Hire Software Developers Into Your Tech Teams features insightful information on how to conduct a successful recruitment process. 

3. Conduct Effective Onboarding

When it comes to recruiting and retaining exceptional independent Rust developers, ensuring a seamless onboarding process is key. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, companies with effective onboarding processes enjoy 62% higher productivity rates, as well as a 50% boost in new hire retention. This is particularly significant in the freelance recruitment space, where employers must make sure that freelancers are just as motivated and committed as in-house teams. 

Overseeing effective onboarding is essential for forging a fruitful, productive working relationship with freelance Rust developers. It can be instrumental in setting the tone for clear communication, seamless collaboration, and project success. Here are the key advantages of efficiently onboarding independent Rust developers: 

  • Increased productivity owing to a clear understanding of expectations and deliverables
  • Reduced risk of misunderstandings regarding project requirements and technical decisions
  • Helps freelance software developers to feel like a valued member of the team, thereby boosting their engagement and motivation
  • Better project quality due to enhanced understanding of the existing codebase and developer tools

Considering these valuable benefits, it is somewhat surprising that many companies don’t give onboarding the attention it deserves. Figures compiled by Think Learning show that 35% of businesses have no formal onboarding programme, while 60% fail to set milestones for new hires. These findings suggest that there is ample opportunity for businesses to gain a competitive edge over rival firms by implementing a stand-out onboarding process. 

Let’s examine the most effective onboarding strategies for freelance software developers: 

  • Welcome and Introductions: Kicking off your relationship with your freelance developer by offering a warm welcome is a great way to help them settle into your team. You should introduce them to key team members and stakeholders involved in the project, defining their roles and responsibilities. This way, everyone will understand each other’s contributions and how they align with the project’s goals. 
  • Establish Communication Channels: Establishing communication channels is crucial, especially for freelancers who work remotely. Handy tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Discord enable real-time communication, ideal for providing regular updates and feedback. 
  • Clarify Coding Standards: Establishing well-defined coding standards is a necessity for ensuring alignment between your in-house development team and your Rust freelancer. You must clearly communicate your firm’s coding standards by providing detailed style guides and other relevant documentation. Failing to do so may damage the quality, consistency, and readability of the code you produce. 
  • Assign Initial Tasks and Milestones: Giving your freelancers tasks and milestones will help solidify their understanding of what is expected. You could break down the project into manageable tasks and milestones, defining each task’s unique deliverables, acceptance criteria, and deadlines. 
  • Provide Ongoing Feedback and Support: To ensure that your freelancer feels like a valued project team member, it is key to provide them with ongoing feedback and support. You should go above and beyond to ensure that they are well-versed in your team’s workflows and tools. If you identify an area for improvement, you can support them by giving them access to relevant training materials.

Integrating Freelance Rust Developers: Key Takeaways

Choosing to integrate independent Rust developers into your projects can lead to greater innovation and success. As Rust adoption continues to soar, leveraging the expertise of freelance developers offers numerous advantages, from cost-effectiveness to access to specialised talent pools.

While the path to integrating freelance Rust developers may present difficulties, such as communication barriers and alignment issues, proactive strategies can mitigate these hurdles. By clearly outlining project requirements, diversifying candidate sourcing channels, and conducting effective onboarding, businesses can maximise the potential of collaborating with independent Rust developers.

So, whether you're embarking on a new project or seeking to enhance existing ones, integrating independent Rust developers into your team can be decisive in achieving impressive outcomes and driving your organisation towards sustained prosperity in the evolving world of Rust recruitment. 

Cutting-edge software Recruitment For Companies and Developers

Whether you are looking to hire outstanding freelancers or in-house staff, our consultants have the means to place the perfect candidates into your Rust developer jobs. Boasting more than 90 recruiters in offices in the UK and the USA, Understanding Recruitment has become one of the sector’s most esteemed recruitment agencies. With a proven track record in connecting businesses with some of the industry’s most accomplished programmers, we take pride in delivering bespoke and efficient recruitment experiences.  

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can support you to achieve your hiring goals.