TypeScript vs JavaScript: Which Is Best in 2022

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As the most popular scripting programming language for lots of successful projects, JavaScript is omnipresent in the IT sphere. However, it’s not the only choice out there, as proven by TypeScript, which is often used for large-scale applications. Although they may appear very homogeneous, they do in fact have some major differences. Read our article to learn the comparison of TypeScript vs JavaScript and make the ultimate choice for yourself.

Overview

JavaScript has been on the tech market for more than two decades. During that time it has gained a large community of loyal adherents who use it for a range of purposes, such as web and mobile development, gaming, interactive UIs, server apps and artificial intelligence projects. Nevertheless, it had various issues, and to deal with those, its competitor TypeScript emerged. Are they interchangeable, and what are the differences between them? Let’s find out together.

What Is TypeScript?

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TypeScript is a popular programming language created in 2012 on the basis of JavaScript. Being the subset of JavaScript, it offers programmers great frontend instruments without heavy coding. It is mostly aimed at building highly functional large-scale applications. Initially, it was created to overcome the difficulties that JavaScript had while expanding: its complexity and heaviness. Because of these, JavaScript couldn’t satisfy the demands of enterprise-level apps. That’s why TypeScript was created — to solve those issues and introduce additional features.

TypeScript supports interfaces, JavaScript libraries and API documents. It can help detect errors in the apps at an early stage and debug them promptly. Especially in the case of complex projects with large global teams, TypeScript can increase productivity and efficiency of the collaborative efforts. One of the many valuable features of TypeScript is TypeScript compiler, used to carry out an effective compilation process.

What Is JavaScript?

What-Is-JavaScript-article

JavaScript is a scripting language with a robust ecosystem that software specialists use for building interactive and dynamic web pages. Supported by different browsers, powerful, but at the same time lightweight and flexible, it is a great language to learn for newbie software specialists. Nevertheless, there are some nuances to consider prior to using it, as JS was not created for building large-scale sophisticated apps.

As JavaScript evolved, it became too intricate and complicated. As a result, TypeScript emerged to compensate for this shortcoming. So, to meet the needs of enterprise-level customers who are interested in complex and heavy apps, TypeScript is a better option to consider.

The Difference between TypeScript and JavaScript

Feature

TypeScript

JavaScript

NotionTypeScript is a programming language that is a superset of JavaScript. It was created to get over code intricacy for large-scale projects.JavaScript is a high-level lightweight dynamic scripting programming language.
Error identificationErrors can be found and corrected during compile time.Errors can be found only during run-time as it is an interpreted language.
BrowsersTypeScript should first be transformed into JavaScript code to be comprehensible.JS can be utilized straightaway.
Optional parameters in functionsPossiblePossible
Project scaleLarge-scale. For complex apps with global development teams, TypeScript helps truncate the time of development and make the workflows more effective.Small-scale. With clear and accurate structure, the language is perfect for compact simple apps.
Ease of learningNot the best option for beginners. It’s best to learn JavaScript before taking on TypeScript.Great option to learn for novice IT specialists.
CommunityThe TypeScript user community is still growing.There is an established large community of developers.
AnnotationRequiredNot required
CompilationRequiredNot required
Well-known clientsSlack, Accenture, Typeform, etc.PayPal, Netflix, Uber, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using TypeScript

Advantages

  • Preciseness. TypeScript allows for precise defining via typing. This feature ensures that everything stays as specified by developers.
  • Type annotations. This feature ensures a convenient way to express unequivocally the type to be used.
  • Type inference. Thanks to this characteristic, TypeScript developers don’t need to provide types when the compiler can find them without outside help.
  • Structural typing. This is an essential feature for software engineers who are concerned about the actual structure that they use. The reliance on definite structure also facilitates the increased safety of TypeScript.
  • More effective team efforts. The advantage of TypeScript is that it allows developers to focus solely on their own work without having to rely on their teammates. Thanks to the clearly defined data structures and type annotations, it is significantly easier to understand developers’ decisions and introduce new members to the team.
  • High performance. TypeScript makes the development of individual engineers more effective, which leads to improved performance of the entire project team.
  • Identifying errors. Compilation errors are revealed as soon as possible to prevent their further negative effects. TypeScript notifies software engineers once it identifies errors. This also facilitates a fast refactoring process, useful when the team has to handle ginormous volumes of code.
  • Easy to read. It is easy to grasp the intention of software engineers who initially created the code, which is particularly advantageous for geographically dispersed teams working on the same project. The easily comprehensible coding thus makes collaboration more effective.
  • Quick updates. To keep the TypeScript code maintainable, regular upgrading is necessary. With TypeScript, it is easy to update or refactor apps.
  • Object-oriented programming. Thanks to the support of OOP concepts, TypeScript software engineers can build well-structured code that is easy to scale and maintain. This is particularly handy as projects become bigger and more complex.

Disadvantages

  • Longer time for compilation. As a rule, it is more time-consuming for TypeScript to carry out compilation.
  • Not the best choice for small-scale projects. TypeScript shows its best characteristics for large-scale, complex projects with sophisticated heavy-load architecture.
  • Intricate typing system. Despite being a great instrument overall, some developers complain that it is often too difficult to implement appropriately. However, this is not a disadvantage of TypeScript per se, but rather a result of interoperability issues with JavaScript.
  • Necessary compilation. JavaScript doesn’t need compilation, whereas TypeSсript does.
  • One more language to learn. Although TypeScript is comparatively easy for JavaScript programmers to learn, they still have to make an effort. So, if you have a team of JavaScript developers who are eager to start new projects on TypeScript, don’t count on an immediate start, as preliminary learning will take a bit of time.
  • False sense of safety. TypeScript can check types and notify developers when there are errors in the coding. But do not let these functionalities delude you into thinking that everything written in TypeScript is flawless, as in reality it is not.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using JavaScript

Advantages

  • Fast-paced. Because JavaScript is an interpreted language, it can reduce the time necessary for other languages to compile. JavaScript is a client-side script, which means that it’s not the web server but the browser that processes the coding. These types of scripts are preferred when developers validate the data and only then send it to the web server.
  • Simple. JavaScript is easy to understand and learn. Due to its intelligible unambiguous structure, it is easy to grasp both for the users and developers.
  • Cost-effective. JavaScript is cheap to use, thus saving the monetary resources.
  • Popular. Every popular browser supports JS, and it is used by many large companies, including such tech giants as Meta, eBay, NASA, etc.
  • Interoperable. JavaScript functions perfectly with other languages. For that reason, lots of engineers utilize it for their app development. JavaScript can be embedded into any kind of webpage or even into scripts of other languages.
  • JavaScript has robust frameworks. As there are a number of corresponding frameworks for JavaScript, it significantly simplifies the developer’s job. Such coding is easy to understand and identify and fix errors in. This helps developers enhance their programs with additional features that make the coding more efficient.
  • Versatile implementation. Using the power of Node.js servers, engineers can make the most of JavaScript and subsequently expand its potential manyfold.
  • Full-stack development. Currently, JavaScript can facilitate both frontend and backend development. Backend development is possible with the help of Node.js, and frontend with frameworks such as Angular, React, Vue, etc.
  • Concise code. Thanks to the compact coding, JS can improve the functioning of web pages and apps.

Disadvantages

  • Error discovery during run-time. Unlike with TypeScript, it is impossible to discover errors at an early stage.
  • Not great for large-scale projects. Unlike TypeScript, JavaScript is best for small-scale projects.
  • Browser support. Different browsers understand JavaScript coding in different ways. Therefore, the coding should be tested on more than one platform. Moreover, some old browsers do not support new functionalities.
  • Challenging refactoring. Refactoring is an important process that helps improve the quality of the code. After adapting, changing, tweaking and fine-tuning the code, its maintainability, stability and efficiency will improve. In JavaScript, it’s quite problematic to carry out refactoring procedures in order to enhance code quality.
  • Difficult bug discovery. Although some editors in JavaScript can debug code, they are not effective. In addition, as the errors are not shown, they’re not easy to identify.
  • Terminated rendering. Just one error can terminate the rendering process of all the JavaScript code on the site.

pros-and-cons-of-ts-vs-js

Conclusion

To sum up, the choice of a specific language should depend on the characteristics of the definite project, as both languages have their own specificities. Although TypeScript may have some advantages over JavaScript, for example, it is not always great for small projects. So it’s best to consider all the project characteristics and customer requirements beforehand.

Now that you can better understand the differences between JavaScript and TypeScript, we hope this makes it easier for you to pick the right language for your project. In case you still have doubts regarding which one is better for you or in case you need expert advice, please feel free to reach out to SaM Solutions. Our experienced engineers would be glad to provide help with your project.

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FAQ

Is TypeScript better than JavaScript?

Each option has its own benefits and peculiarities. The choice depends on the specifics of your project. TypeScript can not replace JavaScript. For small-scale projects, it is better to resort to JavaScript, as using TypeScript can lead to extra expenses. As JavaScript can run straight in the browser, it is easy to detect bugs and adjust the code that’s not long and complex. For TypeScript, software engineers require an integrated development environment to configure and run the code.

Is TypeScript easier than JavaScript?

For novice developers, it’s wiser to start with JavaScript, as it is more widespread and there is always a high demand for JavaScript specialists on the job market. For more seasoned professionals, who are already acquainted with JavaScript, it’s a great idea to explore TypeScript. In addition, they won’t find it too difficult, as TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript.

Is TypeScript safer than JavaScript?

Most developers consider TypeScript safer due to its early error recognition. However, this feature may be overrated: building apps with JavaScript can be secure as well, so long as you follow all the security guidelines that help prevent system vulnerabilities and eliminate errors.

Is TypeScript’s performance better than that of JavaScript?

Again, it depends on the specific needs of the project. JavaScript is better for small-size projects. In case of large-scale projects with large global teams, TypeScript is more advantageous, as it improves code management and enhances team collaboration.

About the author

Maryia Shapel
Maryia Shapel

As a content writer, Maryia strives to create enlightening blog posts and technical articles based on the latest technology trends and established best practices. Her aim is to tell more about SaM Solutions and promote the company’s expertise.

7 Comments

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  • I couldn’t agree more — there can’t be just one cure for all problems. For small-scale projects, I would definitely recommend JavaScript, and for enterprise-level ones, TypeScript.

  • Thank you for this comprehensive comparison. I will use this knowledge when the time comes when I should select the technologies and tools for my future projects.

  • When I started my career as a novice developer, JavaScript seemed like a good choice to me. However, the situation on the market has changed and we should adapt to it. I’ve recently decided to switch to TypeScript, at least for a couple of my projects.

  • TypeScript may be a good alternative to JavaScript, but it is not a cure-all. It can catch bugs early, but it is definitely not bulletproof. For projects that require neat and clean coding, especially in the case of small projects, I would still choose JavaScript.

  • I found JavaScript developer interesting and useful; it helped me enhance my skills and start coding in TypeScript as well. It expanded my opportunities on the job market, and now I mostly work with TypeScript.

  • Appreciate your comparison of these two popular languages. I think I will start with JavaScript and then move on to TypeScript later — it’s good to know both as each of them offers different benefits.

  • I was amazed when I first tried TypeScript. My teammates and I were surprised by the number of bugs it caught when we decided to convert the JavaScript code. And the editor integration is amazing. We will use it in our next project for sure.

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