Lately, more and more projects, from apps to administration panels, have been developed using a programming language called TypeScript.
What are the TypeScript benefits that make this programming language so popular? And, how can you use TypeScript for EdTech development?
Let's take a closer look!
Created and maintained by Microsoft, TypeScript is an open-source programming language that is not only one of the most popular ones but is also incredibly fast-growing.
What makes TypeScript stand out is that it is packed with more powerful features that help developers create large-scale applications. Also, TypeScript is supported by Microsoft's free code editor Visual Studio Code, the top open-source project on GitHub.
TypeScript is a relatively new programming language. It was launched for public use in October 2012 as version 0.8 of the language. Before it was officially released, TypeScript was in development for two years by Microsoft and Anders Hejlsberg, the lead architect of C# and the creator of Delphi and Turbo Pascal.
Today, TypeScript is a dominant open-source language with a steadily growing community. Millions of developers love it, and the fact that this programming language is backed by Microsoft conveys confidence that it won’t be abandoned any time soon.
Now that you’re more familiar with TypeScript basics let’s find out the advantages of using TypeScript.
The main feature of TypeScript is that it supports static typing. It improves the quality and understanding of the code and makes it easier to catch errors. Moreover, TypeScript is an irreplaceable tool when working with teams and several developers.
Let’s closely look at the list of the other top advantages of using TypeScript:
One of the benefits of TypeScript for large projects is that different people and teams can easily support it. Explicitly specified data structures and type annotations make it far easier to understand the decisions made by the engineers who wrote the code. In other words, it is possible to introduce new developers to projects much faster with TypeScript.
The language can warn the user about type errors in the code. Since the errors are found by the editor, not by the user or the compiler, there’s no need for developers to perform a build, saving them a great deal of time.
TypeScript is also backed by some of the most powerful names in the software industry. Slack, Asana, and Visual Studio Code are just a few examples of software that employ the language.
The TypeScript community is continuously growing, so users have constant support from a strong development team.
TypeScript includes quite a few tools that increase productivity and make the creation of large codebases much easier. In addition, this programming language allows developers not to use unit tests in the project. With TypeScript (TS), everything stays the way it was initially defined. Definitions written by TS can replace documentation in many cases.
Since we covered the basics and benefits of TypeScript, let’s talk about the uses of this programming language for EdTech projects.
The word “EdTech” is a blend of two words — education and technology. The term refers to the process of combining IT tools and educational practices to facilitate and enhance learning.
Thanks to EdTech, it is possible to create a more engaging, inclusive, and individualized learning experience for students. Some examples of EdTech would be creating tech-infused classrooms with tablets, interactive online courses, and even computers that can take notes and record lectures for students who are ill.
One of the most demanding tasks for developers is supporting a finished product without high-quality documentation.
It takes additional time to understand what each line of code represents, why certain data is passed to a certain component, why a database requires a specific format, and so on. With TypeScript, developers don’t need to spend extra time to understand the existing base or introduce it to other developers.
This snippet of code shows a component that is responsible for rendering a small block with a button. In order to display these elements on a web page, a popular library called React.js was used.
The component takes a message parameter. Inside the block, there is an option to click on a button called the someActionFunction function, which takes a message parameter as an argument.
To understand what kind of data is used, it is necessary to do a few things with an app.
EDIT - To display specific data for this piece of code, special log functions should be used that display the exact information about the message in live mode.
COMPILE - After the logs have been made to the code, the project must rebuild itself and make new changes.
RUN - Then, it is necessary to run the project to see in the developer tools what kind of data is displayed in the message.
Now, let's explore the next piece of code, which is responsible for the someActionFunction.
In this file, it's clear that two functions are being called—one for adding an event to Google analytics and the second for communicating with a server.
After seeing this, every developer will want to know whether the entire message object should be passed to the database or only certain keys.
The standard EDIT > COMPILE > RUN procedure has to be carried out to resolve this issue.
Why did we show you this example? So you could understand how much time it takes to test any piece of code. But this example is just a small segment. What if you need to understand the behavior of a project that has been in development for more than six months?
That’s where an EdTech project written in TypeScript can make things much more manageable.
With this example in TypeScript, developers will immediately notice a complete description of the data received into this component.
The message structure is easy to understand; it is an object that has four keys with corresponding values—two strings, one number, and one boolean.
Developers can immediately be sure of the data structure that the someActionFunction receives. Without looking at the block of this function yet, developers can also realize that the code is working with the keys of this object.
Now, let's see what happens with this function, which is also described using TypeScript.
The conclusion here is that only the ID key is required for communication with the database. For analytics, there is a corresponding value, which is boolean; if it is true, then we call the function and save the user's click in the analytics. The picture is now completely clear.
These two examples show how developers can catch up with an EdTech project much faster when TypeScript is used.
Now, let’s explore how project owners can reap TypeScript benefits.
EdTech project owners might find themselves wondering why use TypeScript for EdTech projects. The previous examples answer this question very well.
It is important to point out that EdTech projects are not only frontend and backend but also additional services in the form of a mobile application, administration panel, and other things.
Suppose the project is written in TypeScript and an experienced developer has implemented the description of the project from the first line. In that case, project owners have a chance to transfer the entire code to any team who can easily familiarize themselves with it and begin to expand, improve, or support it.
At Geniusee, the approach to each project is individual, but the use of TypeScript in the development stack remains indispensable.
The Scout project is a prime example of this. Scout is a mobile application that allows you to exchange content, ideas, news, and other relevant things. You can shape and create exciting moments and share them with your friends and family.
It consisted of:
1. mobile application - React Native, a popular library that allows you to write a mobile application for Android and iOS;
2. server side - Node.js;
3. dynamic web pages - web resources through which customers actively exchange content and have the opportunity to preview their work.
Later on, each entity was described using TypeScript and had excellent documentation. TypeScript helped minimize unnecessary communications and time spent on understanding the project.
Here are some other advantages of using TypeScript for this project:
Because more than eight people took part in the development of all entities, this documentation allowed the Geniusee team to reduce the error rate to a minimum.
After successfully completing the project, the Geniusee team handed it over to the next team, which still supports the product.
Using TypeScript for EdTech development is beneficial both for the developers and for the project owners.
Based on the experience of the Geniusee team, TypeScript saves more than 60% of onboarding time for the development team. For project owners, creating services and applications with TypeScript can save a huge amount of time and resources.
If you choose to work with Geniusee on your EdTech project, we will ensure easy collaboration and any possible contribution from your team’s side.
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