We all know about the indisputable benefits of TypeScript, like static typing, good readability, code refactoring, and error-catching before runtime. Further, it has strong IDE support with Intellisense and ESLint, which in my opinion, has huge applications.
"TypeScript could have prevented 38% of its errors." —Airbnb
According to a StackOverflow survey in 2021, TypeScript was the third most loved and the second most wanted language by full-stack developers. Despite its up to 89% satisfaction rate, some developers may argue that types are a pain! Yet, the truth is that they're far more advantageous than they're annoying. So, does that mean you should always use TypeScript due to its cool features?
When To Use TypeScript?
1. Scalable Projects
In the vast realm of large-scale application development, TypeScript blatantly surpasses other programming languages. TypeScript's robust tooling and strict typing help you build reusable code, which is handy when you know your project will scale.
Moreover, it eases documentation writing and helps reduce bugs related to typing. This way, your team will have more time to focus on the heavy work. TypeScript helps maintain the codebase's quality, reliability, and code maintainability as it scales, keeping it smooth and clean more easily. That's why TypeScript may be your go-to for projects you know will scale.
2. Enterprise Applications
A huge code base often means more bugs that TypeScript can help catch and debug. To be fair, all of TypeScript's benefits we've discussed perfectly match large-scale or enterprise-level applications. These projects involve higher financial risks, wher launching runtime errors often translate into massive losses. Thus, devs must go the extra mile to ensure the program works just fine. That's why assuming the hassle of using a more strict language is convenient. TypeScript is perfect for these as it supports classes and interfaces, which helps structure large codebases.
3. Large-Team Projects
Whether it’s a large, medium, or relatively small project, if several developers collaborate, TypeScript may be your best bet. Here’s why! Developers often don’t make assumptions because they write and organize their code differently. Static typing, explicit documentation, and type-checking help devs understand someone else’s code. It also helps them catch the potential errors the other devs made more easily. Plus, TypeScript’s robustness and strict conditions give developers more trust in the code they pass to their teammates.
4. Shared Libraries
When To Avoid TypeScript?
1. Quick Prototyping
TypeScript comes with an extra layer of complexity in exchange for its notable benefits. That may not be practical for quick prototyping. When developers want to test some ideas and discard them quickly by writing only a few lines of code, it may be best to keep other languages' flexibility. Setting up a TypeScript environment can also take some extra time, and it may not be worth the trouble for quick prototyping.
2. Small Projects
It's like quick prototyping. If the project requires a quick turnaround, you don't want to delay the development time with static typing and compile time. Small projects rarely involve an overwhelming codebase. So it won't be so hard for developers to deal with bugs that may arise.
3. Automated Tasks
This one may be a bit obvious based on the two cases we've just mentioned. Scripting usually involves writing small, self-contained code to automate specific tasks. These tasks are often simple and don't require the robustness and tooling that it offers. Plus, you may want to finish things as quickly as possible when working on scripts. Setting up TypeScript and dealing with static typing will just slow you down.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
It may also be best to use TypeScript if the project needs many updates or involves many dependencies. Likewise, you may want to use TypeScript in cross-platform and complex projects. A perfect example is mobile development with React Native for Android and iOS. It's worth mentioning that TypeScript isn't 100% mandatory (or not) for any scenario we've mentioned in this article. Yet, using it to boost productivity and efficiency is highly recommended.
Many modern developer tools like Deno, Angular, and Nest.js favor TypeScript over other languages. Plus, it has become compulsory for some cutting-edge tools like tRPC. Bottom line, TypeScript is a major tool in Software Development and every day becomes more popular for a reason. You should consider using this open-source programming language for almost any project, especially if it's medium to large or involves several collaborators.
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