11th November 2021
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Why TypeScript is the Best Choice for Frontend

Przemyslaw Potoczny

Przemysław Potoczny

Why typescript is the best choice for frontend
3 minutes read
Contents
  • Practical Examples of Why TypeScript is the Best Choice for Frontend
  • What is TypeScript?
  • Why you should choose TypeScript over JavaScript
  • Why Typescript is the best choice for frontend
  • Conclusion

Practical Examples of Why TypeScript is the Best Choice for Frontend

TypeScript is becoming increasingly prevalent in recent years in frontend development. Angular being one of the main frontend frameworks uses TypeScript. Nearly 70% of JavaScript programmers now use TypeScript, and about 20% would love to try it.

What is TypeScript?

TypeScript (TS) is a superior form of JavaScript (JS) with optional typing and compiles. In short, it is basically JS with static typing. A study reveals that about 15% of all JS bugs can be caught by TS. The freedom that comes with dynamic typing usually results in bugs that do not only reduce a programmer’s efficiency but also bring development to a standstill due to the additional costs of implementing new code lines. Thus, the limitations of JS in incorporating functions like compile-time error checks and types make it a poor choice for large codebases.

Why you should choose TypeScript over JavaScript

TypeScript is clearer

In large-scale systems, Types enable developers to be able to keep the context of the system in mind while separating the rest of the system and how the different parts interact with each other.

TypeScript is more reliable

Compared to JS, TS code is usually easier to refactor and more reliable. This helps developers in avoiding errors and makes rewriting much easier. Types invalidate most of the minor errors that can creep into JS codebases. It creates a rapid feedback loop that fixes all the minor errors when refactoring and writing new code.

JavaScript and TypeScript can be used interchangeably, so why not?

Since TS is a superset of JS, it means all the JS code and libraries can be used in your TS code. Most JS libraries usually have a Types repository. This implies that you can slowly adapt TS in your JS codebase.

Why Typescript is the best choice for frontend

Easy-to-understand code

Often, when working on a piece of code, for instance, a function code, you’ll need to grasp the following to understand it fully:

  • The value it returns.
  • The arguments it accepts.
  • The external data it requires.
  • What it does with the external data and arguments to return a value.

It is usually difficult to know the first three points in dynamically typed languages. However, in statically typed languages such as TS, you immediately grasp it all from your compiler and IDE. You will not need to go through the entire codebase, keep asking your colleague questions, or have bugs at production.

Easy and quick to implement code

Normally, when you need to create a new component or a new feature, your workflow would likely look like this:

  • Bootstrapping the component function, forming its constructor arguments, then writing the remaining code.
  • If any external data are required, you imagine how it will look like, store it in your head and implement it like that in the code.
  • Add the component to your app and inject props into it.
  • Test it to make sure that it received the props and it is working well.

If something is wrong, you go back to the code and try to fix it before testing again. In TS, it is similar, however, it is easier and faster:

  • Bootstrapping the component function, defining its type definition, then implementing it.
  • If any external data are required, look for their interfaces and partially or fully reuse them.
  • Add the component to your app and inject props into it.

That’s all! Therefore, when writing code in TS, it is not just only less error-prone and more readable, it is mainly easier to make sense of.

Code easier to refactor and fewer bugs

Quite often, there are always a few things a programmer would like to refactor, however, because they could potentially touch many things, they often choose not to change them. With a single click of command in your IDE, such things can be refactored in TS. You no longer need to be scared of breaking things anymore whenever you want to make changes such as renaming your components, removing a deprecated attribute, changing your user object, or improving your build system. TS will help you find where the refactored bits are used, rename them, and notify you of any compile error if there are any type mismatches in your code after the refactor. Thanks to TypeScript, it is now harder to write invalid code. Once it compiles, you can be sure that the code actually works.

Reduced unit/ integration tests

You will not require much testing once you are sure that your variables are correctly passed into the appropriate places. Instead of writing integration or unit tests to know if your function arguments are correctly passed between each other, you can pay more attention to testing your app’s business logic. Reduced tests imply quicker development of new features and a smaller codebase that is easier to maintain, less error-prone, and less complicated.

Easy-to-Merge Code

Having TS in your toolchain gives you the typedef compilation “assurance” check. Once the code looks good, the integration/unit tests are done, and the whole code just compiles. You are then quite sure that everything works. With TS, it is easier to trust other programmers. It could also improve the speed with which PRs are merged and reviewed.

Helps the programmer to have the right workflow

Like every statically typed language, TS encourages a programmer to first think about their code’s interface before considering its internal implementation. This implies that you have the correct workflow by first thinking about the types of data to be received, and then the type of data to be produced.

Conclusion

In summary, TypeScript is an important tool to have in your possession even if it is not used to its fullest capacity. With TS, it is relatively easy to start small and slowly grow while learning and adding new features along the way. There is no need to be scared as TypeScript is practical and inviting to beginners. If you intend to develop a new frontend application that will require maintenance over time, then you should go with TypeScript. Using TS gives you loads of benefits in the long run.

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