There are thousands of coding “languages” used today. These languages aren’t like what we speak to one another. Rather they are a series of direct commands, abbreviations and ways of arranging text. All software is written in a coding language of some type. Every coding language is unique, designed with a certain operating system, platform, coding style and intended use in mind. Today we are going to take a closer look at one particular language … TypeScript.
While Typescript isn’t exactly brand new – it was introduced in October 2012 – its wide implementation has picked up over the recent years, especially in web applications due to its light-weight deployment and object-oriented nature. Despite this, a lot of developers are still not clear what Typescript is or what advantages it affords them.
TypeScript is made up of the following three components:
- Language. It comprises of the syntax, keywords, and type annotations.
- The TypeScript Language Service. The "Language Service" exposes an additional layer around the core compiler pipeline that are editor-like applications. The language service supports the common set of a typical editor operations like statement completions, signature help, code formatting and outlining, colorization, etc.
Benefits of TypeScript
Some developers may be hesitant to try a “new” language, which in fact, isn’t so new. TypeScript is gaining in popularity and becoming a real option for organizations that want to develop large coding projects. Notable benefits that TypeScript offers developers include:
- Static typing. This is a feature that detects bugs as developers write the scripts. This allows developers to write more robust code and maintain it, resulting in better, cleaner code.
- One of the biggest advantages of TypeScript is its code completion and IntelliSense. Intellisense provides active hints as a code is added.
- Better choice for large coding projects. TypeScript is an object-oriented language. That means the code is more consistent, clean, simple and reusable. Definitely the option to use for developing large projects.
- Better for collaboration. Large coding projects have multiple developers, and thus there is a greater chance of errors occurring among them. When errors happen, it makes the handling difficult. TypeScript has safety features that detect errors in coding, which makes for more efficient code and can be debugged easily.
- Testability. With Dependency Injection, testing becomes easy. You can mock test services with the same interfaces as the real ones. Your code won’t know the difference, and you can perform a full suite of scenarios to get full coverage.
- Better productivity. Thanks to features like ECMA Script 6 code, dynamic typing and auto-completion, developers are able to boost their productivity.
But they do have differences between one another.
- Typescript is also backed by Microsoft and is integrated with Microsoft’s VS Code, which gives it a definite edge.
The Industry Takes Notice of TypeScript
In another survey, developer marketplace HackerRank asked 71,000 developers around the world about what languages they know today and what they want to learn this year. The results, which were released in its 2019 Developer Skills Report, found that developer interest in TypeScript spiked in the past year, rising from being the fifth most popular language to learn in HackerRank's 2017 developer survey to the fourth most popular language to learn in 2018. They cite that “The language was known by just under a quarter of all developers in 2018 compared with 15 percent last year.”