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Getting started with Typescript Generics πŸš€

TypeScript has revolutionized the way developers write and manage JavaScript code, offering type safety and scalability which are crucial in large-scale applications. Among its features, TypeScript Generics stand out as an advanced and incredibly potent tool that every developer should master. This article delves into TypeScript generics, offering a clear understanding through practical examples and demonstrating why generics are indispensable in modern TypeScript programming.

For the visual learners out there, here's a Youtube video

What Are TypeScript Generics?

Generics are essentially variables used to capture and work with various types passed into components or functions. They allow developers to write flexible, reusable code components that work over a variety of types rather than a single type. This capability not only makes your code more adaptable but also helps in maintaining type safety, preventing errors that might otherwise only be caught at runtime.

Why Use Generics?

The primary advantage of using generics is that they help maintain type integrity throughout your code. By specifying types at the time of function invocation, generics ensure that the functions work predictably and safely, reducing runtime errors and enhancing code quality.

Practical Examples of TypeScript Generics

To grasp the concept better, let’s explore three levels of examples: basic, intermediate, and advanced, demonstrating the versatility and power of generics in TypeScript.

Basic Example: The Identity Function

The identity function is a simple yet effective example to showcase generics. It's defined as follows:

function identity<T>(arg: T): T {
    return arg;
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Here, is a type variable that allows you to capture the type T provided by the user of the function. The function accepts one argument arg of type T and simply returns it. This approach maintains the type information between the input and output, preserving type safety.

For instance, invoking identity<string>("Hello Generics") ensures that the input is a string and the output is also a string.

Intermediate Example: API Response Interface

Generics become especially useful when defining interfaces that are meant to be flexible across various types of data. Consider this generic interface for an API response:

interface ApiResponse<T> {
    status: number;
    message: string;
    data: T;
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This interface uses a generic type T for the data field, allowing it to represent any type of data specific to different responses:

let userResponse: ApiResponse<{name: string, age: number}> = {
    status: 200,
    message: "Success",
    data: {name: "Alice", age: 30}
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This approach offers flexibility and type safety for API responses, accommodating various data types without losing the benefits of TypeScript's type system.

Advanced Use Case: Constraining Generics

Generics can also be constrained to ensure they meet certain criteria, which is particularly useful when your code relies on specific properties. Here's an example of a Store class that operates on items with an id property:

class Store<T extends {id: number}> {
    private items: T[] = [];

    addItem(item: T) {

    getItemById(id: number): T | undefined {
        return this.items.find(item => === id);

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This Store class is generic but constrains T to ensure every item has an id of type number. This pattern is immensely useful for collections that require item identification.


Generics are a powerful feature in TypeScript, enabling you to write more abstract, safe, and reusable code. From simple utility functions like the identity function to more complex data structures like the Store class, generics provide the flexibility needed to handle various data types while preserving type safety. As TypeScript continues to evolve, understanding and leveraging generics is becoming increasingly important for developers looking to write robust, maintainable code.

By mastering TypeScript generics, you're not just enhancing your development skillsβ€”you're also preparing yourself to tackle more complex and scalable projects with confidence.

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