TypeScript Comprehensive Guide

To read this blog you must understand JavaScript first. If you are beginner and yet don’t know JavaScript you can explore other JavaScript blogs on our website. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, which means it includes all the features of JavaScript and extends it with static typing. Static typing allows you to define the types of variables, function parameters, and return values explicitly, which helps catch errors early in the development process and enhances code quality. Let’s compare some examples in TypeScript with their equivalent JavaScript code to illustrate the differences.

Setting up typescript development environment

Before getting started with TypeScript make sure you have development environment set up for it. First install Node and Vs Code Editor. Once installed follow along with me. Run the following code to create a starter project My-typescript-project

mkdir My-typescript-project
cd My-typescript-project
npm init // keep entering until finishes

Now open the folder My-typescript-project inside vs code editor. To work with TypeScript, you typically use a build step to compile TypeScript files ( .ts) into JavaScript files (.js). Then, you can run the compiled JavaScript code.

Install TypeScript Globally:

First, make sure you have TypeScript installed in your project. You can install it using npm or yarn, then you can check for typescript version.

npm install -g typescript
tsc --version 

Create a build command to compile Typescript files:

Add a build command to your start script that compiles TypeScript files into JavaScript using the tsc (TypeScript compiler) command. In the root of your project, create a tsconfig.json file, which is a configuration file for TypeScript. This file tells TypeScript how to compile your code and includes settings like output directory, target version, and more.

Basic tsconfig.json settings:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es6",
    "module": "commonjs",
    "outDir": "dist",
    "rootDir": "src",
    "strict": true
  "include": ["src"]

The "outDir": "dist" setting tells TypeScript to place the compiled JavaScript files in the dist directory. The "rootDir": "src" setting indicates that TypeScript should look for .ts files inside the src directory. You can also use tsc --init to create tsconfig.json file.

cd My-typescript-project
tsc --init 

This creates the tsconfig.json file inside My-typescript-project with the required settings, you can manually create the file tsconfig.json and add the basic tsconfig settings provided by me.

Update the start script:

In your package.json, update the start script to include the build step before running the compiled JavaScript files:

  "scripts": {
    "start": "tsc && node dist/index.js"

If you have single entry point file index.ts inside src then by above setting you can use regular npm start to compile all the files inside src folder to js and then run theindex.js file. In this example, the start script first runs the tsc command to compile TypeScript files. Then, it uses the node command to run the compiled JavaScript file located in the dist directory (in this case,index.js). With these changes, running npm start will build your TypeScript code and then execute the compiled JavaScript code. Make sure your entry point file (e.g., index.ts) is in the src directory as specified in the tsconfig.json.

Keep in mind that the exact configuration and settings may vary depending on your project’s structure and requirements, but these steps provide a basic setup for running TypeScript code in a Node.js environment.

Using ts-node for development environment:

install ts-node as development dependency locally for your project.

cd My-typescript-project
npm install -D ts-node 

this will install ts-node as development dependency.

ts-node is a TypeScript execution environment and REPL for Node.js, which allows you to directly run TypeScript files ( *.ts) without explicitly compiling them to JavaScript. It’s particularly useful for development because it eliminates the need to manually compile your TypeScript code before running it.

If you choose to use ts-node, you don’t have to worry about the build step and can directly run your TypeScript code like this:

ts-node src/index.ts

In this case, you won’t need a separate tsc compilation step in your package.json start script. However, it’s worth noting that while ts-node is convenient during development, it’s generally not recommended for production environments. For production, it’s better to pre-compile your TypeScript code to JavaScript using the TypeScript compiler (tsc) and then run the compiled JavaScript code using node. During development, ts-node can be helpful for a faster development workflow, but for production deployments, it’s better to compile your TypeScript code using tsc and then run the generated JavaScript files using node. This will ensure better performance and compatibility with standard production environments.

Different types in typescript

Now that you have successfully set up the development environment for typescript project , let’s understand different types in typescript. I will give codes in JavaScript and corresponding code in TypeScript.

Basic Variable Declaration:

In JavaScript

let age = 25;
age = 'thirty'; // No error, JavaScript is dynamically typed

In TypeScript

let age: number = 25;
age = 'thirty'; // Error: Type '"thirty"' is not assignable to type 'number'

In TypeScript, we specify that the age variable should have a type of number, so assigning a string to it will result in a compilation error.

Function parameter and return type:

In JavaScript

function add(a, b) {
  return a + b;
const result = add(5, '10'); // No error, JavaScript is dynamically typed

In TypeScript

function add(a: number, b: number): number {
  return a + b;
const result: number = add(5, '10'); // Error: Argument of type 'string' is not assignable to parameter of type 'number'

In TypeScript, we explicitly specify that the add function expects two parameters of type number and will return a value of type number. Attempting to pass a string as one of the arguments will trigger a compilation error.

You need to be logged in to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top