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Anna Baker
Anna Baker

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Why I'm Learning Typescript

One of the things that I like most about TypeScript is that it is a superset of JavaScript. This means that any valid JavaScript code is also valid TypeScript code. This makes it very easy to get started with TypeScript. Another thing that I like about TypeScript is that it has static typing. This means that you can catch errors at compile time, rather than at runtime. This makes for much more stable and robust code.
One of the challenges that I have faced while learning TypeScript is understanding the type system. The type system in TypeScript is very powerful, but it can also be quite complex. It has taken me some time to get a good understanding of it, but I am still learning new things about it all the time.
Overall, I am really enjoying learning TypeScript. It is a great language that has already helped me to improve my JavaScript skills. I am looking forward to continuing to learn more about it and using it in my future projects.

What is Typescript?

TypeScript is a free and open source programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. TypeScript adds optional types, classes, interfaces, enums, generics, and more to JavaScript. These features can be used by the TypeScript compiler to provide type safety for your code. TypeScript code can be compiled to ECMAScript 3, ECMAScript 5, or ECMAScript 6 (also known as ES2015) code.
If you're familiar with React, you may have used the createreactapp CLI tool to create a new React project. The createreactapp tool uses TypeScript by default. This is because React is developed using TypeScript and it's recommended that you use TypeScript for React projects.
TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. It gives you type safety, objectoriented programming, and other benefits that the JavaScript language lacks. If you're familiar with React, you may have used the createreactapp CLI tool to create a new React project. The createreactapp tool uses TypeScript by default. This is because React is developed using TypeScript and it's recommended that you use TypeScript for React projects.

Why I'm Learning Typescript

I've been meaning to learn Typescript for a while now. I'm finding it really helpful in understanding JavaScript concepts, and it's also just really fun to use. I'm looking forward to using it more in the future.
I first heard about Typescript when I was looking for ways to improve my JavaScript skills. At the time, I didn't really understand what it was or how it worked, but the idea of being able to type out my code and have better control over my variables sounded appealing. After doing some research, I decided to give it a try and I've been hooked ever since.
Typescript is a superset of JavaScript, which means that any valid JavaScript code is also valid Typescript code. This makes it easy to get started with, as you can gradually add Typescript features to your existing code base without having to rewrite everything from scratch.
One of the things I love about Typescript is that it forces you to be more explicit about your code. For example, if you try to access a property on an object that doesn't exist, you'll get an error. This might seem like a pain at first, but it actually saves you a lot of time in the long run by catching errors early on.
Another great thing about Typescript is the support for type annotations. This allows you to specify the type of a variable, which can be helpful for catching bugs before they happen. For example, if you have a function that expects an number as an argument, you can annotate the function with:

function(num: number) { ... }

If someone tries to call this function with a string instead of a number, they'll get an error telling them that they're using the wrong type of argument. This is extremely useful for catching errors in large codebases where there are many different types of data being passed around.
Overall, I'm really enjoying learning Typescript and I'm looking forward to using it more in the future. It's helped me improve my JavaScript skills and has made me more aware of potential errors in my code. If you're thinking about learning Typescript, I would highly recommend it!

How I'm Learning Typescript

I'm currently using the TypeScript Deep Dive book as my primary resource for learning Typescript. This book does a great job of explaining all of the features of Typescript in a clear and concise manner. Additionally, the book includes a number of exercises that help to reinforce the concepts that are being taught.
In addition to the TypeScript Deep Dive book, I've also been using the official TypeScript documentation as a reference. The documentation is extremely thorough and covers every aspect of Typescript in great detail. While it can be a bit daunting at first, it's a great resource to have on hand when you need to look up something specific.
I've also been making use of online resources such as the TypeScript Playground (https://www.typescriptlang.org/play/) and the TypeScript Handbook (https://www.typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/). These resources are extremely helpful for trying out code snippets and seeing how various features of Typescript work.

Overall, I'm finding that learning Typescript is not as difficult as I initially thought it would be. With the help of some great resources, I'm slowly but surely getting up to speed with this powerful programming language.

Top comments (53)

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

Hi @annabaker ,
About that:

If you're familiar with React, you may have used the createreactapp CLI tool to create a new React project. The createreactapp tool uses TypeScript by default. This is because React is developed using TypeScript and it's recommended that you use TypeScript for React projects.

Create react app is NOT using TS by default neither they recommend nor reject TS, because it has no sense. It's not their competence as library, to define which other dependencies you need in the whole project.

It's an option to choose by the developers (usually the TL or LD) taking in mind the specific use-case and it has many pros but some drawbacks as well.
While TS brings some advantages, still JS is the most used in the whole world* and it's in backend where it shines most (Node JS, Deno, Bum...) IMHO.

If you want to use create react app executable along with typescript you need to explicitly state that by using:

npx create-react-app my-app --template typescript
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Or the yarn equivalent:

yarn create react-app my-app --template typescript
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Otherwise it will be JS (without TS).

Despite that, it is not recommended to use create-react-app executable for other thing than learning purposes. It is boilerplaty and with all probability will add dependencies that you may not use. It's better to add the dependencies (react, react-dom, a bundler like Webpack or Parcel, jest...) When you're about to use them than using the create-react-app and then start deleting things when you realise you're not using some of them.

Maybe you prefer (or need) Parcel because it's -almost- zero config, or using a different testing suite than what comes along the executable or... Whatever.

As bonus there is more than one way to use TS:

Best regards! 😁


*You can search jobs with TypeScript keyword in LinkedIn with some desired filters (or not) and then do the same using JavaScript instead.
Even that I also think that learning TS is a good thing (you'll be able to work in both JS and TS and, using what is explained in the embedded post I added, it will be almost the same with few exceptions).

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

Thank you so much for your comment! I will check it out!

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brense profile image
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Rense Bakker

Hi, its me again, just here to point out again that typescript developers are all also using JavaScript, which is why JavaScript is the most used language... Typescript= JavaScript+ types
And you can look at many trends showing that typescript is by far the most used type system language for JavaScript :) not your weird jsdoc nonsense :)

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Of course TS is the most used type system for JavaScript, but that's not the reason for JS being the most used language around the globe.

All TS projects are also JS projects but not all JS projects are TS.

In addition, TS pragma is also TS, and JSDoc has been maintained by TS guys as well in case you didn't know: typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/j...

Hope it brings some light, like it or not.

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brense profile image
Rense Bakker

You keep repeating "javascript is the most used language" as an argument against typescript... But I guess you're never going to understand how stupid that makes you sound... I'm honestly just here to point it out to others, I realized you're a lost cause several months ago. 2021.stateofjs.com/en-US/other-too...

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brense profile image
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Rense Bakker

Oh, just to point out... Literally only 16 out of 11258 respondents to that survey said they strictly use vanilla javascript. I guess there's 15 other people besides you who are insane :)

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

It is not against TS, honestly. As I said it's a good thing to learn and to use.
But I'm also honest and realistic about the current state on the market, where there is more projects without TS than with TS. Thinking the opposite is just neglecting the truth of the market.

This is changing though, not as quick as we expected some years ago, but I expect either TS being on the TOP of the state of the art in a couple of years or JS bringing those desired features in the core API while making TS "deprecated" or included in the spec by the TC39 (we'll see which proposal is admitted and in which way as there are some of them, including TS itself).

The JSDoc along with TS pragma has proven to be a good approach on three situations;
1- You want to migrate a code base (of any complexity) from JS to TS. By adding JSDoc and TS pragma you can get static typing, type checks... without having to rewrite the code. Still providing full compatibility between JS and TS along the process.
2- You understand the benefits of static typing buy you also think that using TS has more drawbacks than what it really has (by lack of experience) or the realistic drawbacks that came along with TS (dev time, specifically) can't be justified for the requirements, budget etc.
3- You have a new project in mind but none of the devs (or the major part at least) have previous experience with TS and/or they are not interested on it.

I know you'll tell that either be the case, go ahead with TS and most of the time you'll be right.
Still there are situations where you won't, and in such cases, IMHO is better to use TS Pragma with JSDoc than not using neither TS nor this approach.
If you notice that I try to make more people to know about that is just for that reason (as we discussed before).

An important part of my job is to choose tech stacks accordingly to the business needs, which is not necessarily what I want to use. Despite that I'm not paid to bring my likenesses over the table but to find what aligns better between the business (client) and the available resources (devs).

If it's TS, go ahead with TS, if it's plain JS, it will be plain JS (but I'll encourage the team to use TS Pragma with JSDoc and add it as requirement in the code) so any future migration (if any) will be much easier and we benefit from the features it brings in the meantime.

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brense profile image
Rense Bakker

Oh please, you're constantly advocating for using JSDoc over TS. You're not fooling anyone claiming now that you're unopinionated and "choose tech stacks accordingly to the business needs". The reality is: you've never chosen TS for that tech stack. The fact you're pretending otherwise right now speaks volumes. Deep down even you are realizing you're being obnoxiously stubborn and that the whole world has moved on to greener pastures.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

You should create a post around that stuff, your opinions, likenesses and the reason (if any) behind them instead creating threads larger than the main post in others articles.

You think it's me being stubborn and neglecting the current state of the art and I need to point you again the metrics we care about, which are less than 24k open job positions around TS in the entire European Union vs the over 65k in JavaScript (LinkedIn, searched just now), or the 5.3k vs over 13k if you filter by remote only. If we move to US market it's much much worse for TS.

No survey answered by few hundreds (not necessarily developers) can compete agains that, like it or not, believe it or not (you can search it for yourself in 2 minutes).

You can lie to yourself and say "TS is JS" and it's not. Any JS is valid TS code but not a single line of TS (other than comments) is valid JS.

TS is not so widely used as you think or as you'd like. Sorry. I also find it useful and a must in some projects (not in all of them of course, I'm pragmatic, not a fanboy) and I show people a way to introduce themselves in TS or Typing JS projects with the pragma+comments approach.

I'm wondering what do you do for the industry or for your beloved TS.

Create posts, teach people the basics on an easy way, or teach advanced concepts so we all can learn more and become better developers, do something, show off!

Arguing with others and trying to "change the world" without even trying to understand why it works the way it does is a nonsense and a lose of time.

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brense profile image
Rense Bakker

Any JS is valid TS code but not a single line of TS (other than comments) is valid JS

This right here... Shows you do not know what you're talking about.

You live in the past and for some reason are scared to learn Typescript and so you try to convince people on a dev platform not to use Typescript by trolling each and every post about it.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

That should be then 😂

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rkallan profile image
RRKallan • Edited on

@Rense Bakker
try to run your TS file in a browser without compiling to JS. Also there are no plans to support that in a browser.
Typescript extends JS by adding types.
And yes there are benefits using TS.
The downside is that some developers are not aware that your code still can fail on production. I see by getting data from (external) api which is unexpected type, missing. The code breaks on production. Because there are trusting on mockData and TS.
Yes the problem comes from the api. But still your code needs to catch it instead breaking.

There is a proposal to adopt type notation in JS

Without JS no TS

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rkallan profile image
RRKallan

@Rense Bakker
one more thing what we can see a lot in code, when using TS. Is typing to any to avoid TS error.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

Just adding that there are multiple proposals for adding optional type notation into JS core API (including TS itself, Flow and others) but AFAIK none of them reached a stage to be considered a possibility in the short term.

Another issue I faced one time (but I bet is not the only place where this happen) is being on a project where they had budget either for using TS or for applying TDD... They choose TS which is an aberration if you advocate for quality. Also two things happen: an imminent lack of confidence in the code in the short term and tech debt growing quickly. (This is not usually perceived by core team till the exact point where some devs start leaving and new ones come in).

Thinking that TS will magically convert your code into good, robust and trustable code is just ridiculous.

It has benefits and I expect a growth in the amount of business asking for TS in their open job positions because TS + TDD is usually better than JS + TDD.

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi • Edited on

it's recommended that you use TypeScript for React projects.

You own personal interpretation, because community never said that, you are free to use whatever you need to. For instance, in my web company (>500 employees) we do use JS (Vue, corporate framework, etc) because no one except couple of guys (me included) knows TS, so it’s definitely not a good idea about using it widely. Hiring engineers with TS skills isn’t/wasn’t a main task.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

That's currently the mainstream, specially in frontend 🤷🏻‍♀️

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi

Wasn’t talking about trends..

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

Neither do I, it's just the current state of the market since long time ago.

Trends are spikes in between that and they may cope the market till certain point (see React for example, with more users than Angular, Vue and Svelte together) or set a tendency growing steadily (like TS) or keep living in the community hype for some time without reaching a worth mentioning piece of the market (see Tailwind).

All of them are in a certain situation for good reasons.

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi • Edited on

Again, i wasn’t talking about it, calm down. Anna stated that “it is recommended to use..” not the case, you can use JS/TS whatever suits you the best. Period

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prathmeshb profile image
प्रथमेश | Prathmesh 🌟

Can i skip javascript and learn typescript instead? does it will be problem

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nicvazquez profile image
Nicolás Vazquez

Since TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, naturally you have to know JavaScript first. TypeScript simply adds properties, specifically statically typed, to your JavaScript code, making it easier to maintain.

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prathmeshb profile image
प्रथमेश | Prathmesh 🌟

ok got it

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

No cutting corners you have to learn the fundamentals of the language first. It's like trying to learn React before you learned JavaScript 😂

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prathmeshb profile image
प्रथमेश | Prathmesh 🌟

LoL

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi

It’s more like learning a new language without grammar and rules

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natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin

Possibly. Typescript really helps one learn static typing which many programming languages use: Kotlin, Java, Groovy, Scala, Haskell, Rust, C++, Go, C# etc. . .

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polenj86 profile image
Maciej

Hi,
I also struggled at the beginning when I started learning typescript, it might be annoying at the beginning but now after 3 years of using it I'd never go back to vanilla JS, I simply love the fact of finding errors at compile time instead of finding them at runtime.
Anyway everyone should use it because it makes you think "better" on your code

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Anna Baker Author

You're so right! It can be frustrating at first, but learning typescript is so worth it in the end. It's helped me write much cleaner and more error-free code.

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elsyng profile image
Ellis • Edited on

Imho, ts is not a language. It's a "typing+" tool for js. And as such, I find adding some ts features into your js is good. Ts has a lot of obscure features, which I think do more harm than good. I think one should not try to apply all ts features religiously. But that's me :o)

One very big benefit of React (for instance) is, it allows you to use js / ts minimally, I find.

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Anna Baker Author

I agree, ts is a good tool, but that one should not try to use all of its features all of the time.

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beraliv profile image
beraliv

Hey!

Thank you for the article!

If you didn't see github.com/type-challenges/type-ch..., you can give it a try, it helped me a lot in the last several years. Especially helpful if you want to dive into challenges and learn more things in details.

The only thing that I didn't like is the lack of detailed explanation

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad you found the article helpful.

I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing, so I appreciate your feedback.

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Alexander B.K.

My reason for learning TS :

  1. Angular uses it. Although I am still using React, Angular is still interesting to learn (and use).
  2. NestJs uses it. As a Node.js framework), NestJs is heavily inspired by Angular for the architecture. However, because I am still learning TS, I suspend my learning this Node.js framework, until my knowledge in TS is adequate.
  3. Several other useful/interesting libraries use it.
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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

It's great that you're learning TS! I'm sure you'll be able to use it in many different frameworks and libraries. Keep up the good work :)

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shriekdj profile image
Shrikant Dhayje

I also started learning typescript

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

I'm glad to hear that you're also learning Typescript it's a great language to know.

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rkallan profile image
RRKallan

Is it correct to call TS a language?
Because the engine is JS, only before the engine runs it adds some checks.
Is zend framework or Laravel a language?

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shriekdj profile image
Shrikant Dhayje

I think i will call TypeScript as Javascript Compiler Just like for C or Cpp There is compiler called mingw or clang

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi

Take a look github.com/gcanti/fp-ts, more complex project with TS

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

Thanks I will :)

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yongchanghe profile image
Yongchang He

Thank you for sharing!

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

You're welcome!

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apimike profile image
Mike Rozner

Simply put, it's a great article.

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

Thanks!

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youssefmic profile image
Youssef-mic

Hello, for me learning typescript is largely unnecessary because I work alone and I hate oop maybe you can say I am biased but doesn't matter I am ok with javascript as it is

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annabaker profile image
Anna Baker Author

Thank you for your opinion! I respect that you are happy with JavaScript as it is, and as long as you are ok with that's great! For me, I find that learning TypeScript is helpful because it forces me to think about my code in a different way. I also enjoy the challenge of learning something new. :)

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youssefmic profile image
Youssef-mic • Edited on

Thanks a lot

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chrishunterjohnson profile image
Chris Hunter-Johnson

I like typescript - the only issue I have is getting it to work with the Theme file for material-ui

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vishalraj82 profile image
Vishal Raj

Good. Here is the typescript boilerplate repo
dev.to/vishalraj82/getting-started...
Hope this helps.

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi
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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Thank you, never heard about that, seems useful for learning purposes and toying around (I'm not confident enough on mutators to use that in a serious project though 😅)

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deinnalynch profile image
DeinnaLynch
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noah55 profile image
Ndacyayisenga-noah

@annabaker ,
Can we learn Typscript together?
Hit me up just incase ndacyayinoah@gmail.com we make magic

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