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Remi W.
Remi W.

Posted on • Originally published at creativedesignsguru.com

TypeScript is the Only Programming Language you Need to Learn. One language to rule them all!

TypeScript has become extremely popular among JavaScript developers and more and more projects use it as the primary programming language.

Today, most frameworks or libraries have support for TypeScript, which makes it easy to use.

TypeScript Everywhere

JavaScript/TypeScript can be executed on every platform. You can now use TypeScript for all your projects without any limitation: one programming language to rule them all!

TypeScript programming language logo

It also means you only need to learn one programming language for all your projects. For any senior developer learning a new programming language isn't difficult but the time to master one is time-consuming.

You only need to use one ecosystem: one package manager, one linter, one code formatter, etc. You only need to configure once and share it across all your projects. Saving you a ton of time ;)

TypeScript for Frontend

The most used framework to build user interfaces is React and Vue.js. Both now support TypeScript.

React frontend logo

I'm a React developer, I won't be able to say much about Vue.js. But when I started to use TypeScript with React, it wasn't an easy process because I was doing two things:

  • Learning TypeScript
  • Applying TypeScript in React context

In the beginning, you'll definitively lose your time fighting against TypeScript. But, once you understand the basics, it makes your developer life much easier. It helps you to write better code with fewer errors.

I like to write small components and you should too if you want to make your React code more modular. By using TypeScript on top of React components makes the code easy to navigate and maintain.

You can check out some React components written in TypeScript at this React Boilerplate repository. You can start your React projects with all modern tools like React, Next JS, TypeScript, Tailwind CSS with great tooling like ESLint, Prettier and Husky configured for you.

Next JS boilerplate tech stack

TypeScript for Backend

In the past, you need to write in different programming languages for the frontend and backend. The backend was mostly written in Java, PHP, Ruby, etc.

It makes the development experience not so great and the developers need to do a lot of context switching between frontend development and backend. The experience wasn't unified.

Node JS made it possible to write backend code with JavaScript. You can now write your REST API in the same language as your frontend.

Not only do you get the same development tools for both environments, but you can also even share the same code between your two environments. You don't need to write the same logic twice.

There are some edge cases where you aren't able to share the code due to the nature of the platform. Some packages or some APIs can only work in the browser. So, you couldn't run it with Node JS. On the opposite, some packages can only work in Node JS. This case is extremely rare but you need to be aware of it.

Serverless framework AWS lambda
Express js serverless

I have also build a Serverless Express JS Boilerplate to quickly create a Serverless backend REST API faster with everything configured: TypeScript supports, Offline support, automatic reload, ESLint, Prettier, Husky, etc.

TypeScript for Infra as Code

Several years ago, I used to rent a dedicated server to host my full-stack application based on the LAMP stack. It wasn't an easy task to manually configure everything from scratch.

First, you need to install the dependencies, secure your server, update the configuration file, etc. The most annoying thing is to maintain it.

The Infrastructure as Code (IaC) was the ideal solution to solve this issue. It makes the process smoother using definition files. For someone with a developer background, you want to version control your infrastructure resources and remove the repetitive task when configuring several servers. The IaC is the perfect tool.

With recent development, a new wave of IaC has emerged where you can use your favorite programming language instead of using configuration/definition files. Recently, I started to use AWS CDK with TypeScript to define my cloud resources.

AWS CDK infrastructure as code

AWS CDK makes learning extremely easy: you don't need to learn a new tool and new ecosystem. You can still use your favorite JavaScript package manager, tooling and it works perfectly well with your favorite editor (my favorite one is VSCode 😜). Because I use it with TypeScript, I know when there is an error or when I misuse a function.

TypeScript for Mobile Development

With hybrid application and React Native, JavaScript isn't limited to the web application. You can now start building iOS and Android applications with JavaScript. So, you can now use TypeScript without any issue to create your future apps.

React native TypeScript logo

Unfortunately, I'm not able to share much about mobile development with TypeScript. In the past, I've done some native mobile development on iOS in objective-C (pretty old school, before Swift) but not on React Native.

Expo JS React native logo

If I had the opportunity to make a mobile development, I'll definitively try React Native with TypeScript because I'm already familiar with React and TypeScript. I hope it makes the process easier and smoother. And on top of that, I also want to use Expo, a React Native framework. The framework seems to be very promising and it's considering a NextJS-like for mobile development.

TypeScript for Machine Learning

Even if Python has a much larger ecosystem and community, you can also use TypeScript for Machine Learning. I've built a small OCR using React and Tensorflow.js for digits number.

Machine learning TypeScript with Tensorflow.js

The user can draw any number on the screen and the application can guess the input. Here is an example:

Digit recognition with Tensorflow JS and React

It's possible to train the model directly inside the browser, but the result wasn't great. It was slow to train the model and the accuracy of the prediction drop. You should train your model on a more powerful computer and only load the trained model when needed.

It's still great to have the ability to run a machine learning model directly inside your browser, it makes your integration into your existing project easier.

In conclusion

TypeScript can now be used everywhere and make the development much smoother with only one programming language to learn. No more context switching between programming language and all the stack is unified.

If you are building a SaaS product and want this unified experience, you can try Next JS SaaS to start your TypeScript projects in seconds. We handle all the boring things for you like Auth, Payment, Landing Page, User Dashboard, form and error handling, database, CRUD operation, etc.

Next JS SaaS Boilerplate Starter

Discussion (37)

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lukeshiru profile image
LUKESHIRU • Edited on

There's a little bit of title in your clickbait 🀣 ... in a more serious note: I love TS, but I would never say "that's the only language you need to learn" to anyone, even in WebDev ideally you should learn HTML, CSS, Vanilla JS, and even other FE languages such as Elm. Sticking to a single language is not ideal if you want to grow as a developer.

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer • Edited on

Learning other languages is also a good idea though. Every front-end web-dev should also have a look at languages like C or Rust to get a better understanding of how many things work under the hood.

It's also a very different way to go about coding that requires a somewhat different way of thinking and problem-solving.

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rammina profile image
Rammina

Agreed, besides other languages in which are used along with Typescript, the language itself has some downsides and case scenarios in which it's not the ideal language to use.

dev.to/rammina/downsides-of-typesc...

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

Definitively, TypeScript has some downsides. But, once you take the time, TypeScript has a lot of advantages.

You have all the advantages from JavaScript with less negative ones.

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rammina profile image
Rammina

Typescript does not have all the advantages from JavaScript.

  • TypeScript can somehow hinder the creativity that JavaScript gives you, because of its clunky boilerplate.
  • Some third-party libraries work well with JavaScript, but are an awful experience with Typescript (those that don't have type definitions files).
  • It also leads to longer build/compile time

Note: I am not personally attacking you, I mean well in the sense that I don't like misinformation.

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author • Edited on
  • In my previous comment, I was referring for someone has taken the time to learn TypeScript. After the learning time, TypeScript don't influence your creativity. At the end, JS and TS are the same language.
  • All modern framework and libraries have definitions files. Only less popular/unmaintained libraries and framework don't have definitions files. If a project don't have definitions files, it's really a good indication to not use it. Is it a good point?
  • With modern tooling, it's negligible and it doesn't impact your work. Under the hood, it might increase the build/compile time but unnoticeable for a human (the developer).
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rammina profile image
Rammina

Unfortunately, I can't agree with you in good faith. Here are my counterpoints:

This is coming from someone who loves Typescript by the way.

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

You haven't understood my responses... I have always put nuances in my responses and you have miss the important notion in my response.

Maybe my writing wasn't good enough or you miss what I trying to say.

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rammina profile image
Rammina

No worries! :)

I will stand by my opinion, you can have yours, and so does everyone else.

We can just agree to disagree.

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anuragvohraec profile image
Anurag Vohra

"..has few downside", so does every language!

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talr98 profile image
TalR98

Sticking to one language is simply not possible that's all.
Each language has its own dedication. There are things you won't implement using javascript but rather Golang or Python ..

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

Some developers will argue HTML and CSS aren't a programming language 🀣 I think it definitively make sense to build webapplication and mobile application in one language for a small team with limited resource and time.

Python has huge advantage in Data Science and the community in this field seems much more larger. Golang are more targeted to low level but for high level application like web or mobile, TypeScript can be one of the solution πŸ˜ƒ

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anuragvohraec profile image
Anurag Vohra

"Sticking to a single language is not ideal if you want to grow as a developer", yes, but additionaly to what you say, picking a langauge which can do many things is good skill set to have (along with others)! (Specially when you want to venture as a startup: The maximum potential of a developer).
As one can't be good in everything, but can be excellent in one thing!

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rammina profile image
Rammina

I get it, you love Typescript, a lot of people love that language, and so do I.

However, your title is clickbait and it can be misleading for beginners. The article is nice and well-written, but I'm going to have to disagree with some points.

In any case, here are some scenarios and downsides of Typescript:
dev.to/rammina/downsides-of-typesc...

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

Oups, spotted, I'm huge fan of TypeScript... In this article, I was trying to hide my love to TypeScript 🀣

To be fair, in my article, you can replace every reference to TypeScript by JavaScript. It also works.

My point are that both languages are very versatile.

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rammina profile image
Rammina

Sure, you really love Typescript. I know you mean well.

However, it does not change the fact that some of your points are misleading, and the fact remains that Typescript is definitely not the only language you need to learn.

I'm just saying this for the sake of beginners who walk into this thread/post.
I don't want them to start thinking that all they need to learn is Typescript, because that is not true at all.

A more appropriate title and introduction would be, "Typescript is a versatile language and I love it."

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Without having properly read the article, I can add my reason for not using TS: I value the flexibility of an untyped language more than the added safety that a type system offers.

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eecolor profile image
EECOLOR

TypeScript has quite a flexible type system. However to express some more complicated types requires quite a lot of effort and knowledge.

Important things that I think are missing:

  • Type inference for arguments based on usage
  • A way to express intent (for example: the function expects a User) combined with actual usage (for example: the function expects something that has a name property). It would be great if any type system would combine this. Note that this is explained better here: youtube.com/watch?v=YR5WdGrpoug
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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

I think you're attributing more features to a type system than it should actually have. When you start adding predicates like "having a name field" you're ending up back at set theory.

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eecolor profile image
EECOLOR

Might be. I was thinking more along the lines of Nominal typing vs Structural typing and in a sense a mix between the two.

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fjones profile image
FJones

I still maintain that dogmatic type-safety is a crutch to solve structural problems more than anything. I have never once thought "Well, this wouldn't have happened if this had type declarations". Not in PHP, not in Python, not in JavaScript. I've very much thought "Why did this API suddenly change?" and "Where's the goddamn documentation for this?", though.

That's not to say there aren't any benefits to an opinionated, strongly-typed language (as TypeScript would like to be). When the language is built from the ground up with the ingrained opinion that it must prevent developer error at any cost (Golang is an excellent example of this), it does have some charm. Golang in particular goes a lot further than TypeScript, though, and ironically makes you feel a lot less dirty for using interface{} than TypeScript does for any (or Java does for <? extends Object> :P )

The drive to make every language type-safe obscures the real issues of language design. PHP's often confusing APIs randomly swapping argument order, Python's indifference to type inferrence, JavaScript's habit of thinking everything is a float under the hood... These issues aren't solved by making the languages type-safe. And neither does it really solve developer errors.

If anything, TypeScript in particular (due to compiling down to JS) can give you a false sense of security. Type defs are maintained often independently of the actual code mapping to them, and handling external data still runs the risk of runtime errors due to bad assumptions or changes in APIs (browsers maintaining dozens of different engine levels also wreaks some havoc at times).

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Yep I totally agree with this. I use Ruby at work, Lua at home and JavaScript both at work and at home; and the types of errors I deal with are almost always related to much more complicated things than a value having the wrong type.

Having worked with languages like C and Pascal before, I'd even say it's the opposite: not having to type your variables is one less thing to keep in your head making a bit more room for the actual logic you're trying to translate into program code, so it helps with reducing bugs caused by dumb oversights.

Just as a small anecdote to underline this: The last bug I found today was that a function to calculate the length of some text was being called before the applications fonts had been fetched, so it used some default font of the browser instead and the result was off by a few pixels. No amount of typing could have fixed this, and in the end the problem was fixed by reasoning about what's happening. Those sorts of high-level problems are the ones I find myself solving most of the time, whereas type mismatches are usually a matter of reading an error message and saying "Oh, of course, this has to be a number"

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rammina profile image
Rammina

Thank you so much for this article!

It's really informative, well-formatted, and I enjoyed reading it.

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ryannerd profile image
Ryan Jentzsch

Overall TS brings some sanity to an insane language. Mostly helping to catching bugs before running being the primary benefit with the secondary being making it easier to reason about your interfaces, for example with function foo(s: string, n: number): boolean you know the expected arguments are a string and a number with the return type of boolean. All major IDEs leverage TS providing type hints.

There are some disadvantages:

  1. Upfront time. TS will bitch and moan at everything it thinks isn't type safe. Forcing you to include type guards and other reassurances to TS that the variable it's complaining about really is expected to be a number prop.onClick(id as number)
  2. There are some situations where TS is overtly difficult to implement for example 3rd party data that you have no control over the structure and types.
  3. To overcome #2 you can write generics and type overrides but once again this falls into the #1 disadvantage.
  4. TS error messages are sometimes difficult to understand and even a trip to SO can still leave you scratching your head.
  5. If your code is littered with @ts-ignore there's a bigger problem than TS going on.
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rammina profile image
Rammina • Edited on

I agree with your points. We have a lot of overlaps when it comes to opinions about its downsides.

Number 4 is so awful and relatable. Even a popular library like redux-form has really bad issues with Typescript, and people over at Github and SO are struggling to find stopgap solutions to errors.

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damienpirsy profile image
Matteo Vignoli

Sticking to a single language for everything is the second worst thing you could do (the first is using TypeScript as only language). Nowadays it's always "use JS for everythiiiiiiing!", so I get why you would say "use TS for everythiiiiiiiing", but actually you're making a silly mistake that's hurting your developer career - but you're most likely young and think that at 30 you're old and decrepit, so it's no point arguing with you. Your approach to programming is toxic, short sighted and naive, but you got the likes and the clicks I guess it's enough for you.
Keep spreading your message, more opportunities for us older folks who can use several languages according to the needs. Cheers!

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

Sorry, you've made some wrong assumption... I'm an older programmer (if you consider someone above 30).
I'm a multi language programmer: I started programming in PHP on LAMP stack. Doing Java & React stack for full-stack application. Making some game in C#, doing machine learning and image processing in C++, reimplementing bash shell in C from scratch, etc... the list goes on.
I won't argue more, whether my title has been misleading whether you didn't read the article. Cheers!

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damienpirsy profile image
Matteo Vignoli • Edited on

That's even more surprising, so either you've hopped on the fanboy train or you've forsaken all your experience and knowledge in favor of, what? Lazyness? Having used the "right" tools for a job - for several jobs, actually - do you really believe typescript to be a valid susbstitute, or you've just making a proof-of-concept? Would you really trade C# (or even an interpreted lua) in favour of TS for game development, for example?
Your article says you "might", your title says you "ought to", you're experience says "you shouldn't and you don't".

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badpractice profile image
Bad Practice

I'm gonna be real. I personally refuse to build a social network with a scripting language. I also gave up on PHP. I've moved on to converting all of my backend to Rust for the most part. It's amazing in the frontend, but that's my limit.

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evilprince2009 profile image
Ibne Nahian

Lol!
Don't get me wrong , I'm not a TS hater.
But one language for everything is such a bullshit , idiotic ideology & this works only for those fanboys who are averse to learn others stuff. Never fall in love with one solution for every problem , this is like using hammer for breaking an egg. Every project has different requirements and every problem requires different solution.

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author • Edited on

Same here, don't get me wrong, I'm not a multi-programming language hater.
I started programming in PHP on LAMP stack. Doing Java & React stack for full-stack application. Making some game in C#, doing machine learning and image processing in C++, reimplementing bash shell in C from scratch, etc...
And yes, every project has different requirements and context.

I didn't give enough of my context in my article. I'm indie maker with limited time and resource. I'm currently building high-level application as a solo developer. So, one language is appealing.

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jayjeckel profile image
Jay Jeckel

Typescript is awesome for bringing some sanity to the chaos that is javascript, but even if there was a single language suitable for everything (which there isn't), it wouldn't be typescript or any javascript-based language. And I can't be alone in preferring to set my servers on fire before I'd ever use any kind of javascript outside the front end of a web stack; it just isn't a language that holds up in the worlds of strongly typed precompiled languages.

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valeriavg profile image
Valeria

Oh, sweet summer child!
Once you open the Pandora's box of Dev tools there's no going back.
At the very least you'll learn a bit of bash, at least one database query language and whatever your favourite framework comes up with.
And when you think the worst is over, you'll end up neck-deep in DevOps and native nodejs plugins in some CPP or Rust.
After that, it'll snowball to WASM, or WebGL shader programming. Till the moment you'll find yourself spending your Saturday on Go tutorials.
The worst of it all: you'll enjoy it!

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lioness100 profile image
Lioness100

Typescript supremacy πŸ’ͺ😎

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ixartz profile image
Remi W. Author

TypeScript is the best language πŸŽ‰πŸ˜›

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yoshida profile image
Masao Yoshida

A person who knows only one language cannot know the superiority of that language over another.
Every language has its own advantages.
Other languages have already perished from the world.