What is TypeScript, and Should You Learn It?

Coding for Beginners
Written by:
App Academy
Published on:
October 27, 2023
woman looking at computer screen

What is TypeScript? The TypeScript programming language can be a great one to learn for certain coders. Learn more about it and what you need to do to develop this skill.

TypeScript has emerged as a powerful language for web development. For those who know – or want to learn – JavaScript, TypeScript is another tool that can improve your coding prowess. 

Let’s dive deeper into TypeScript and discuss whether it’s worth learning on your programming journey.

What is TypeScript?

TypeScript is a more powerful and sophisticated version of JavaScript, which means it can run anywhere that JavaScript does. TypeScript works alongside JavaScript to make great enterprise-level websites or applications.

It also provides developers with more debugging tools, making it easier to catch errors within massive code bases. However, it can be a little trickier for newer developers to learn and write, which we'll explore more later.

Features of TypeScript

What makes TypeScript a great language to learn? Here are just a few features of TypeScript that might be a huge advantage for your next coding project.

Static Typing

Static typing means that in a programming language like TypeScript, developers can declare the specific type (like numbers, strings, or booleans) of variables (containers that store data) and function inputs. The compiler, which checks the code before it runs, then verifies that the types match correctly. This helps catch mistakes and prevent errors that might occur when using the wrong type of data in different parts of the code.

Object-oriented Programming (OOP) Support

TypeScript supports Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) principles, allowing developers to define classes, objects, inheritance (the reusing of code), and encapsulation (bundling data). 

Type Inference

With TypeScript, you don't always have to tell the program what type of data you're using because it can guess it by looking at the context and the initial values you give. For example, TypeScript knows that if you type in a number, it means a number.


Decorators are a language feature that allow developers to add metadata and modify the behavior of classes, properties, methods, or parameters at design time. They provide a way to extend and customize the functionality of existing code – without modifying its core implementation.


These allow developers to define functions, classes, or interfaces with placeholders for different types. This promotes code flexibility and type safety by providing a way to write generic algorithms and data structures that can be used with various data types.

Differences Between TypeScript and JavaScript

JavaScript and TypeScript are closely related programming languages with distinct characteristics. 

JavaScript is a dynamic language primarily used for web development, offering flexibility and immediate results. It allows developers to create interactive websites and server-side applications. 

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript – meaning it’s built on top of JavaScript and enhances it with static typing, like we discussed above.  TypeScript maintains compatibility with the latest JavaScript standards, ensuring smooth integration. 

Advantages of Using TypeScript

TypeScript is gaining popularity among developers. Here are just a few of its advantages, most of which concern cleaner, more efficient coding.

Better Error Detection

Better error detection allows developers to catch potential errors during the development phase. With static typing and type checking, TypeScript can identify type mismatches, undefined variables, and other common mistakes early on, leading to more reliable and bug-free code and more efficient coding.

Improved Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Support

This advantage enhances the development experience by providing features such as autocompletion, code navigation, and refactoring capabilities (rearranging things to make the code cleaner without changing what it does). IDEs can leverage TypeScript's static typing and type information to offer better suggestions for cleaner and more efficient code.

Easier Code Maintenance

Easier code maintenance makes the codebase more self-documenting. It improves code readability, aids in understanding dependencies (other pieces of code), and enables easier refactoring. Developers can modify and update code without introducing unintended errors.

Enhanced Scalability

With enhanced scalability, developers can handle larger and more complex codebases. Features like static typing, interfaces, and modules promote better code organization, reusability, and maintainability. This allows for smoother collaboration among teams to facilitate the growth and evolution of software projects.

Disadvantages of Using TypeScript

Despite its many benefits, TypeScript has some challenges. Here are some things to look out for when using TypeScript.

Learning Curve

TypeScript introduces additional concepts and syntax, which may result in a steeper learning curve for developers who are new to the language or have limited experience with statically-typed languages.

Compilation Time

The compilation step in TypeScript adds extra overhead to the development process. As the codebase grows, the compilation time can increase, which may impact your productivity and iteration speed.

Tooling Dependencies

Using TypeScript may require additional tools or software to be set up and configured correctly, which can make the development environment more complex.

Interoperability with JavaScript Libraries

While TypeScript is designed to be compatible with JavaScript, there may be cases where existing JavaScript libraries or frameworks don’t have TypeScript type definitions available.

Runtime Overhead

TypeScript introduces type annotations and checking, which are useful during development but are not required at runtime. This can result in a slightly larger file size and potential performance overhead than pure JavaScript execution.

TypeScript Tools and Resources

Here are some essential tools and resources that can help you navigate TypeScript.

TypeScript Compiler

The TypeScript compiler is a tool that takes TypeScript files (.ts) as input, performs type checking, and generates JavaScript files (.js) that can be executed by browsers or JavaScript runtime environments.

TypeScript Playground

The TypeScript Playground is an online interactive editor that allows developers to experiment with, write, and run TypeScript code directly in the browser. It provides a convenient environment for testing TypeScript features.

TypeScript Definition Manager (TSD)

The TypeScript Definition Manager, commonly known as typings, is used to manage TypeScript type definitions for JavaScript libraries and frameworks. It allows developers to easily install and manage type definitions for external dependencies, enabling TypeScript to provide proper type-checking and code assistance when using those libraries.

TypeScript Libraries and Frameworks

Like with JavaScript, TypeScript libraries and frameworks are software components or collections of pre-written code that provide reusable functionality. They’re specifically designed to work with TypeScript, leveraging its static typing features and providing additional capabilities and abstractions. 

They also offer ready-to-use solutions for common tasks, such as handling HTTP requests.

How to Learn TypeScript

Learning TypeScript is just like learning any other programming language. Your current experience level with coding might change how you get started learning TypeScript.

Learn More: 

For Absolute Beginners

It’s highly recommended to learn JavaScript before learning TypeScript. This is because TypeScript enhances JavaScript – so knowing JavaScript first is like learning the alphabet before you learn to read. 

If You Already Know JavaScript

If you already know JavaScript, you can jump more directly into learning TypeScript. There are a number of online resources that you can use to support you:

Start Developing Your Programming Skills with App Academy

While we don’t currently offer TypeScript as part of our curriculum at At App Academy, we do offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers JavaScript and a number of other foundational programming languages. We provide structured learning, real-world projects, and a supportive learning environment to help you learn faster, without sacrificing quality of curriculum.

We aim to equip you with the skills needed to take your career to the next level. Schedule a call with an App Academy admissions counselor to learn more about our programs. And, if you’re ready to dig in deeper, start exploring our programs to see which one might be a good fit for you!


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