Easily understand JavaScript through TypeScript

Easily understand JavaScript through TypeScript

Life is too short to learn more than one programming language, so the best programming language to learn should be decided, based on what is being developed or what you want to build. For instance, if the requirement is developing games or native mobile apps, then C# would be a good option, as it is the language required for both Unity 3D and Xamarin, two platforms that help game and native app development. If you are a front-end web developer and Hybrid app technologies entice you, then hands down the best language to learn is JavaScript.

Understand JavaScript

Understanding JavaScript code which has the .js file extension is of paramount importance if you wish to learn TypeScript, luckily the basics will suffice, like what are Variable and Arrays, how is a Function created and what constitutes an Object. TypeScript code which has the .ts file extension is actually JavaScript code extended with Type information, either inferred by TypeScript or explicitly stated within the code. Furthermore TypeScript actually transpiles or converts at runtime into the most browser compatible JavaScript, ensuring your code works everywhere as intended.

Learning TypeScript

The advantage of using TypeScript is that it catches errors during development, especially when all types are explicitly defined. In addition, it can also use newer JavaScript version features that some browsers do not support as yet, and converts it into compatible code that works on all browsers. JavaScript has several types, when any one of these types are included in a .ts file, TypeScript automatically infers as to what type it is. However the real necessity for using TypeScript is that it catches code errors during development, so in order for this to happen the type must be explicitly stated within the code, thereby eliminating code inference and reducing the chances of your JavaScript code breaking in the future.

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So in order to understand JavaScript through TypeScript first learn the basics of JavaScript code, and then understand where type information is explicitly stated within the same code. From here look at additional TypeScript features, types and shorthand methods that can be included in a .ts file, using the TypeScript syntax. Once your .ts file transpiles into a .js file you can inspect and learn from the complex JavaScript code that has been automatically created.

JavaScript is a dynamic programming language that is flexible and accommodating, unfortunately it is this same feature that makes the code prone to errors, TypeScript extends JavaScript by introducing static type information within the same code and makes it less prone to errors and more easy to understand. Another case for using TypeScript is that JavaScript front end frameworks are potentially the future of web as well as mobile apps, as these provide Single Page Application (SPA) capabilities, meaning the entire app loads on one page. One of the more popular JavaScript front end frameworks is AngularJS, which is powered by Google and also happens to use the TypeScript syntax, meaning if you understand TypeScript code then it would be easy to learn Angular as well.

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