On June 17th, the Rust-MX group teamed up with Mozilla México to do its very first whole day Rust event in Mexico City at the Nearsoft facilities, the RustDay 2017.

After 5 previous meetups, the team decided it was a good moment to go a step further and plan a workshop day using the RustBridge curriculum as a starting point and focusing on reaching out to underrepresented groups in the city. The initiative quickly gained support across communities and companies in the city. Many thanks to Mozilla México, Nearsoft, Software Gurú and SocialTIC for their support.

The teams

We divided the volunteer crowd in three teams, namely Staff, CoC focal points and Mentors.

The staff

Mozilla México, Software Gurú and Nearsoft members teamed up to make sure every single thing needed during the day was covered. The SWAG, the amazing basket tacos, drinks, and many other smaller details where handled by them.

In the venue entrance, an Installers sub-team, whose members where students from a local university, was in charge of delivering a welcome SWAG pack to attendants, asking if they had installed Rust and helping anyone who may not have everything setup to get their laptops prepared for the day.

Software Gurú also sent their experienced broadcasters to make sure that all the workshops and talks were recorded and available for posterity as they have done several times in the Rust-MX meetups. All the sessions are available in the Rust Videos channel thanks to them.

Dayra Chiu, from Nearsoft, not only provided the venue for the event, but also was in the place during the whole day helping out and making sure the WiFi, electricity and all we needed from the facilities was in place and working correctly.

The CoC focal points

Two members of SocialTIC installed a table near the entrance offering information on digital security and inclusiveness, but they were also designed as the CoC focal points. If any person had any concern related to the Code of Conduct or had a claim to do about a specific situation during the day, the CoC focal points were going to handle it. Many thanks to SocialTIC for the help with this!.

The mentors

Formed by members of the Rust-MX group and with the help of the Rust Community members Brian Anderson and Erick Tryzelaar, the mentors team was in charge of preparing the workshops materials, training the trainers, and for providing guidance to the attendees during the day. We wanted to make sure each table had at least one mentor available to help out people so they did not get stuck and to make sure they were able to understand the basic concepts we were trying to demonstrate in the workshops.

The mentors preparation

The workshops materials were decided and prepared during three sessions before the event.

The first session was done to define the goals of the event, so we decided to run a small survey within the people who had reserved a place for the event until then to gather information about their setup and their interests.

Based on the results of the survey, we met again to review the RustBridge materials and see how we could adapt it to make them more attractive to the attendees, and to define a final agenda for the event. In the end, we decided to do a very simple Hello world like tutorial, a simplified Web Scraper workshop using the reqwest crate instead of hyper, this time to scrape cryptocoin prices, and a simplified Text Adventure. Additionally, we slotted time for a keynote, a talk and a couple lighting talks for local people to share their experiences with Rust.

Finally, a third session was held to go through the Web Scraper and Text Adventure modifications, push it to GitHub so it was available for people to fetch it, and make sure the mentors were prepared to guide the attendees.

The day of the event

The event day arrived and everyone was really anxious about it. We arrived at the venue early to set up everything. People started coming and the Installers team was there to help them. Brian and Erick were also helping everyone have their environments set up.

We started with some quick welcome words, highlighting the different teams available for attendees and quickly passing the baton to Erick for the keynote, a detailed introduction to the language.

Then, the first workshop was done as an Introduction to the Rust Ecosystem, by Norberto Ortigoza, followed by a lighting talk by Zura Guerra talking about her experience with Rust in local hackathons.

Next, Erich Córdoba talked about How to convince your boss to use Rust, and after that we had some delicious basket tacos.

After the lunch, Abiel Parra did the second workshop to show the attendees how to Implement a Cryptocoin Prices Scraper using Rust, so they could start going a little bit deeper into the Rust syntax and learn how to use crates.

To finish, Sebastián Magrí demonstrated how to Build a Text Adventure, focused on explaining project organization, data structures and lifetimes.

Wrap up

In the end, the team and the attendees were really satisfied. There were no CoC related issues and we got a peak of 52 participants that, plus volunteers and staff, did a total number of 72 persons.

The code of the workshops is available at Rust-MX’s GitHub, and 3 weeks later, the team had the opportunity to follow up with two workshops at TelmexHub. The next meetup is set to happen on July 26th, and we’re already planning another whole day event for November or December. We had a lot of lessons learned from this first time, which we look forward to apply to the next one.

We hope this experience is useful for people in other places to do their own workshop days. Please, get in touch with us if you need support or feedback. We look forward to work with you to bring more Rust to more people.