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Bentil Shadrack for Documatic

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Do I need TypeScript?


Being a JavaScript developer today comes with more flex. It has been one language I enjoy using most. In my 3+ years as a MERN STACK developer, I have gained much experience in using JavaScript. Earlier this year, I start using TypeScript in Place of JavaScript for my Projects. This has really been an eye opener for me. In this article, I will be discussing with you the Difference between TypeScript and JavaScript, how to get started using TypeScript, and the benefits of using TypeScript for your next project.

Difference between TypeScript and JavaScript

JavaScript is a scripting language that enables you to create dynamically updating content, control multimedia, animate images, and pretty much more. TypeScript on the other hand is a strongly typed, object oriented, compiled language. It was designed by Anders Hejlsberg (designer of C#) at Microsoft. TypeScript is both a language and a set of tools. TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript compiled to JavaScript. In other words, TypeScript is JavaScript plus some additional features.

Do I need to learn JavaScript before typescript? This is one popular question I come across anytime I talk to beginners to TS?

To answer, You should have a fundamental grasp and knowledge of JavaScript in order to write TypeScript code. Additionally, you need to understand the OOPS concept. Contrarily, JavaScript is a well-liked and simple to learn scripting language.


function verify(result) {
  if (result === "pass") {
  } else {
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type Result = "pass" | "fail"

function verify(result: Result) {
  if (result === "pass") {
  } else {

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With a few extra capabilities, TypeScript offers all of JavaScript's features and functionalities. The browsers cannot interpret or execute Typescript, the only language browsers can execute is Javascript, therefore if you write your project with TS you need a transpilation step to - at least - strip out the type annotations outputing simple JS. JavaScript benefits from TypeScript's "type safety" (thus the name!). It is an open source project that Microsoft developed.
You can peruse the repository on GitHub

Introduction to TypeScript

Having basic understanding of TypeScript, Let's go ahead and create your first TypeScript project.
By default, browsers do not understand TypeScript as they do with JavaScript. You need to compile your TypeScript code to JavaScript to be understood by the browser. Hence, a TypeScript compiler is required.

There are two approaches to install the TS Compiler. The global scope and the local scope. The recommended approach is to install the compiler locally per project.

To begin with:

  • go ahead and create a directory for your project.
  • run the npm command npm install typescript in the directory to install the TSC in your project.
mkdir my_project

cd my_project

npm install typescript
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With the compiler installed, you can you can make use of the tsc command in your project directory.
Now you can create a file, [name].ts In the directory. Check the project structure below👇

Project structure

To run the code, run the command tsc [name].ts in the project directory. This will compile the TS code into TS with the name [name].js.
You can compile the code into a different directory using the -outDir flag.
example: tsc index.ts -outDir output.
This will compile the ts code into a directory called output.
Check the demo below:


Explore TypeScript

TypeScript extends JavaScript to enhance the developer environment and experience. It helps developers to include type safety in their projects. In addition, TypeScript offers a number of additional capabilities, including generics, tuples, interfaces, type aliases, abstract classes, and function overloading.
You can explore these features using Documatic VScode Extension
This extension brings Documatic to VSCode: quickly search your large codebases using simple queries - what does it do? what dependencies does it have? And more.

Documatic search uses AI to link relations between your query and snippets of code, so you don't have to know the exact keywords you're looking for!

Benefits of using TypeScript

Among the top 10 programming languages in the PYPL Popularity of Programming Language Index, TypeScript comes with a lot of benefits in software development.

  • Optional static typing: Strong static typing is a feature introduced by TypeScript; once declared, a variable cannot change its type and can only accept certain values. This takes away the extreme risk of production bugs in JavaScript since it only detects data type errors during runtime.
  • Object oriented programming: TypeScript supports object-oriented programming concepts like classes, inheritance, etc. As your project increases in size and complexity, the OOP paradigm becomes more advantageous since it makes it simpler to write well-organized, scalable code.
  • Code editor support: Autocomplete for a TypeScript codebase is supported by IDEs and code editors like VS Code. They also point out the issues and provide inline documentation.
  • Use of Existing packages: You might want to use a JavaScript-written npm package. Since TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, It allows you to import and use JavaScript packages. Additionally, you can use type definitions for well-known packages that are created and maintained by the TypeScript community in your project.

This is to mention a few benefits of using TypeScript


Becoming a web developer can be stressful at some point without a good guidance and tips like this. I found it challenging while learning but you don't have to. TypeScript will same you a lot of debugging time.

Happy Hacking!
Bentil here🚀
Are you a JavaScript developer? Have you used TypeScript before?
Share your experience in using TypeScript in the comment section or the challenges you face in writing TypeScript. I will be glad to answer your questions as well.

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Top comments (2)

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

What happened to the original of this article?! It seems to have disappeared; which is a shame since people had made the effort to provide you with some constructive feedback.

One point you appear to miss: with appropriate measures in your pipeline, TS is one approach to forcing devs to document their code; which IMO is its main benefit and why it helps in a team environment.

Otherwise, I feel the benefts are sometimes over-stated and mis-represented, as in your article:

Optional static typing: Strong static typing is a feature introduced by TypeScript; once declared, a variable cannot change its type and can only accept certain values. This takes away the extreme risk of production bugs in JavaScript since it only detects data type errors during runtime.

This is badly phrased and highly misleading.
Type-checking happens at compile time only and code is transpiled to pure JS; so it is perfectly possible for a variable to be mutated to another type at run-time; e.g. when interacting with a remote API outside your control; a badly documented and untyped library etc. I've unfortunately seen plenty of production bugs caused by the misguided belief that TS protects you from this sort of type mutation.

Do you need TS? I think it's safe to say a working knowledge is probably going to help you land a job; but it's by no means essential. You should absolutely focus on JS fundamentals in the first instance (e.g. JS is - and always has been - an object-orientated language).

qbentil profile image
Bentil Shadrack

Hello Ben
Thank you for your feedback.

The original article was posted on a wrong channel. So I had to republish it here.