Is TypeScript Frontend or Backend

So you’re wondering if TypeScript is a backend or a frontend language? Well, that answer is actually a bit tricker than a simple statement. Technically speaking, TypeScript is just a programming language that is a superset of JavaScript. That means it can be used anywhere JavaScript is used. Thus, it can be used for both frontend and backend development. Among many other applications. However, it is important to know why TypeScript is used in both scenarios.

In this article, we are going to discuss TypeScript for both backend and frontend applications.

Using TypeScript On The Backend

As we previously stated, TypeScript can be used on the backend because JavaScript can be used on the backend. In order to use TypeScript, or JavaScript, on the backend, you need to use Node. Node is a runtime environment, and currently the only way you can run your JavaScript code without a browser.

For many organizations TypeScript is better suited than JavaScript for backend development because it’s faster, produces fewer errors, leads to less debugging, and it’s easier to collaborate within teams. These are all benefits of statically typed languages and are the primary reason so many statically typed languages are also backend languages, such as C++, C#, and Java.

JavaScript became a popular choice for backend development because you could use one language to write both frontend and backend code. Since JavaScript is almost always used as the core frontend language. Writing your entire application in a single language meant you only needed to know a single language well and could reuse helper functions across the stack. However, with TypeScript, you also get the benefit of building an application that is easier to keep secure and scale.

Using TypeScript On The Frontend

Although TypeScript is more commonly used as a backend language, there is nothing stopping you from using it on the frontend. In fact, if you want to build a robust and scalable frontend, it is encouraged.

As previously stated, anything built in JavaScript can be built in TypeScript. That means that the frameworks, React, Angular and Vue are all compatible with TypeScript. In fact, Angular itself was written in TypeScript so opting to create applications with the two technologies together is a great idea!

If you want to use TypeScript without a framework, that is also possible on the frontend and a great alternative to writing JavaScript code. As it will ensure you keep your code readable and error-free.

Prior to TypeScript, a lot of alternative approaches to type checking existed on the frontend, such as PropTypes in React. However, I personally found this approach to be unintuitive and annoying. Unlike TypeScript!

TypeScript is especially important if you write a lot of frontend logic. Combining TypeScript with a frontend state management system like redux is perfect for larger projects as well.

Summary: Is TypeScript Frontend or Backend

Hopefully, now you understand that TypeScript can be used for both frontend and backend development. However, it does seem to be more common in backends, since there is a lot more data being passed around and it is an improvement over JavaScript in almost every backend environment. However, TypeScript is also a great tool for writing more data-heavy and complex frontend code.

So that’s about it! If you want to learn TypeScript, check out this best-selling course.

As always, happy coding!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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