It’s Time to Talk About Type Checkers

Static type checkers have been a part of the JavaScript ecosystem for many years now, and with Microsoft, Google and Facebook all having made major investments in tools like TypeScript and Flow, it’s probably fair to say that type checkers are here to stay. That said, to newcomers, it can be a little bewildering to try and navigate this new technology landscape.

In this presentation, we’re going to talk about type checkers in-the-large. We’ll start with a broad overview of their benefits, then examine some common misconceptions. Next, we’ll see some real-world examples that demonstrate specific scenarios when they can be useful – and not-so-useful. Then we’ll move on to important things to take into consideration when picking a type checker to use for your project (spoiler alert: it’s all about tooling and type definitions).

Finally, we’ll try to look forward into the future of static type checkers. This will include how types can fit into the official JavaScript specification, how type checkers will sit relative to more sophisticated compile-to-JavaScript languages, and how, one way or another, static types are going to influence the broader JavaScript ecosystem.

In short, attendees will leave this talk with a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of static type checkers, how to get the most bang for your buck when using them, and how they are going to influence the future of JavaScript.