It often happens that backend developers don’t like working with a frontend. Even more, some hate frontend development. The complaints are always the same: JavaScript is hell, there’s no types, it’s hard to predict the result, all that cross-browser stuff is a pain and many more. I was one of those guys but now I’m on the other side as the situation with JavaScript has changed. Sure, they still invent a new framework a day, what I mean is that working with a frontend is not a pain anymore. I’m going to explain some of the reasons I like frontend development and particularly why I like Angular with TypeScript.

Two Paths

First of all, it is extremely important to choose suitable frontend technologies. Though I haven’t tried that many frontend frameworks (I’m a Java Developer after all), I believe that the combination of Angular and TypeScript is one of the best picks. Angular is a well-designed framework, it is component oriented and Google takes care of its development. TypeScript, on the other hand, is a modern object-oriented language with strong typing. Microsoft takes care of implementing the language. What’s interesting is that here we are witnessing the close collaboration of Microsoft and Google which is, I’d say, a unique situation. For instance, Google requested Microsoft to add decorators to TypeScript (known as annotations in Java) and they did it. Because they’re supported by two IT giants, I guess it is safe to commit to these technologies.

Here is why you’ll like them:

It is easy to write Angular code if you know Java

Yes, it’s true. If you know Java, you’ll need very little to learn to work with Angular. C-like syntax of TypeScript, heavy usage of annotations (decorators), dependency injection, HTML markup reminding JSP.

For instance, here is how a standard REST client might look in TypeScript:

export class BookService {
    constructor(private http: HttpClientService) { }

    getBook(id: string): Observable<Book> {
        return this.http.get<Book>(`/api/books/${id}`)
            .map(res => plainToClass(Book, res));

Looks familiar, doesn’t it? You can also notice the usage of generics which means that you can implement agile reusable interfaces and simplify your code just like you do it in Java.

And here is how a loop might look:

  <li *ngFor="let book of boringBooks">
    Only today! Buy {{ book.title }} by {{ }} with 30% discount.

Don’t get me wrong, these are different technologies and there are plenty of complex things out there, but you don’t need to master them to be able to write decent code. In fact, you need just a tiny subset of the language.

No boilerplate code

TypeScript simplifies a lot of areas that have not been updated for 20 years in Java. For instance, you don’t need getters and setters here, constructors look simpler and many more.

For instance, here is a standard Java class:

public class User {
    private String name;
    public User(String name) { = name;
    public String getName() {
        retrun name;

And here is what it looks like in TypeScript:

export class User {
    constructor(public name: string) { }

If you need to add an optional parameter to the constructor, you’d have to implement one more constructor in Java, but in TypeScript you only need to mark the optional argument with ?:

constructor(name: string, nickName?: string) { }

In this example, nickName is optional.

You can also pass default values using the following constructions:

constructor(foo: string = 'foo') { }

Working with strings

I guess every Java developer had a chance to “enjoy” writing multiline strings especially with some SQL code inside. No doubt it is a shame that every modern language has this feature except Java.

In TypeScript you can easily write something like this:

userMapkup(user: User) {  
  return `<div class="user-profile">
    <img src="${user.picture}">
    <p class="user-name">${}</p>

You might also notice one more great feature - String Interpolation (injection of variables directly into the string).

Component-oriented Approach

Angular is a component-based framework which means that Angular code consists of independent units that represent small pieces of your application. Let’s say you have a web page representing a list of books. Most likely this page will be built of several components: header and footer components, the table itself, a component representing the dialog for adding new books, etc. They will obviously interact with one another but at the same time, they are independent. Each of them will have its own layout. Each will be represented by its own class. They all will have different style sheets. All will be covered by unit tests separately.

In addition, from a structural point, every component will look more or less the same:

+-- books
|   +-- books.component.ts
|   +-- books.component.html
|   +-- books.component.css
|   +-- books.component.spec.ts
|   +-- books.service.ts

The structure holds from project to project which is a huge benefit. The code is testable and supportable.

IDE support and Tooling

It is not a secret that it’s impossible to implement good tooling for JavaScript and generally for all dynamically typed languages. You simply don’t know what the actual type of a variable is, so you can’t have a good code completion. However, that’s not the case for TypeScript. Both Visual Studio Code and WebStorm provide great support. Not only do they perform code completion and other basic functions, but they also deeply integrate framework specific functionality like navigation to a component definition, validators, linters, etc.

Another important thing is debugging. Though I cannot imagine a better debugging experience than in the Java ecosystem, with Angular and TypeScript it is almost as good as in Java. IntelliJ IDEA and WebStorm are now smart enough to use breakpoints directly in the TypeScript and not in the resulting JavaScript like you might expect. This makes the development process complete and enjoyable.

Build Tools

Just like in Java we have Gradle and Maven, in the frontend world they have their own tools like NPM, Webpack, and Yarn.

It is not rocket science. You just need to know that these tools exist, that they work pretty well, that they are easy to use and that you don’t have to bundle your JavaScript code yourself.

One more noticeable tool is Angular CLI. It is a command line tool that allows components to be created automatically. The following command will generate a minimal setup of a component including html/css/ts files, unit test template, etc. It will also add all needed imports.

ng generate component books

In fact, Angular CLI is more than that. You can now generate a full application directly from CLI.

Fast updates with minimal breaking changes

In the Java community, we are used to the fact that a code written 10 years ago will work on a new JVM. There are some exceptions, like when updating from Java 8 to Java 9, but generally, it’s true. On the other hand, in frontend things tend to be different: you take a break for 6 months and boom, everything has changed and everything is new for you.

Angular is somewhere in between. They release often, they introduce breaking changes but at the same time, they make the transitions soft.

For instance, when we migrated from Angular 3 to Angular 4 we literally changed a few lines of code. It was more complex to migrate from 4 to 5 as they introduced a new HTTP Client but there were no surprises.

The good thing is that if you take a developer who knows Angular 2 and ask them to work with Angular 7 they won’t have any problems.

TypeScript makes it easy to write cross-browser code

Since TypeScript is a compiled language you can always set the target JavaScript version which will allow you to cover more browsers.

It is not a magic pill for all compatibility issues, but it solves the majority of them.


The community is huge. You’re not alone. You’ll always find answers to your questions. Take a look on the “angular” tag on stackoverflow. Hundreds of questions are answered daily.

Also, both Angular and TypeScript are open-source technologies and you’ll often be able to find help directly on GitHub.