Why You Should Incorporate TypeScript Into Your React Project

First, let’s begin by discussing TypeScript itself. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that provides optional classes, static typing and interfaces. TypeScript was released in 2012 and since has gained significant popularity within the frontend community due to the provided code consistency, improved maintainability, and future browser support. The primary benefit of TypeScript is Typing which provides a way to structure and validate code before execution, an extremely helpful attribute when building large-scale applications.

When I say TypeScript is Typed this means that when employing TypeScript you are able to specify the type of variables, function parameters, or properties. TypeScript supports all of the primitive types in JavaScript — number, string, and boolean. Below is an example of this functionality:

let ingredientQuantity: number = 32; // number variable
let ingredientName: string = "Apple"; // string variable
let isIncluded: boolean = true; // Boolean variable

A pro of typing your variables is that the value cannot be changed to a data type other than the data type that it was declared with. If this is attempted (say you tried to change the value of ingredientName to a number) the TypeScript compiler will respond with an error — which is very helpful in catching JavaScript errors.

An example of typing the parameters for a function is as follows:

function chefDisplay(id:number, name:string)
console.log("Id = " + id + ", Name = " + name);

And as for typing properties:

let pantry: { 
ingredientQuantity: number;
ingredientName: string;

pantry = {
ingredientQuantity: 100,
ingredientName : "Apple"

Although many frameworks and libraries have adopted TypeScript by default, React took the Swiss approach in remaining neutral — allowing developers to choose between TypeScript and JavaScript themselves.

As mentioned above, typing is a major benefit of incorporating TypeScript into your React applications. Typing allows your code to be much easier to read and use, allowing you to have a validation component on the variables, parameters, and properties in your frontend.

Another benefit of TypeScript is that it has default support by many common libraries and frameworks, including React and Redux!

Additionally, you are able to gradually adapt your React projects when incorporating TypeScript. Due to the relationship between TypeScript and JavaScript, you are able to incrementally increases TypeScript coverage, making it much more accessible for those learning.

Static type checking and improved Intellisense are both major benefits to TypeScript. Static type checking helps to identify errors early, identifying and alerting you when you are providing the wrong data type. This alerting function is very helpful, especially when working on a large project, as you do not have to hunt through all of your files to find and fix instances of type errors. This feature also decreased the risk of undefined errors at runtime, as the TypeScript compiler detects them at transpile time.

Full-stack software engineer experienced in Ruby on Rails, React, Redux, and JavaScript based programming.