Learn TypeScript #1, The Basics of How Types Work Pt. 1


Alright! Hello everybody! Today I wanted to go over the very basics of how types work in TypeScript so that you can start using them in the programs you write. If you don’t have TypeScript installed, please see my prior videos where I’ll show you how to do that.

I’ve started here with an empty folder in VSCode, feel free to use any text editor of your choice as you follow along. Before we get started, we’re going to open up a terminal and create a TypeScript configuration file by running “tsc –init”

We’ll change one line for now, we’ll uncomment “lib” and add “dom” and “es5”. This will let us reference objects that exist when running JavaScript in a web browser, which I’ll be using for examples later.

Now let’s create our main.ts file where we’ll be doing everything today.

And then we’re going to go to Terminal and click Run Task and do “tsc –watch” to get TypeScript compiling our files.

We’re going to start off by specifying types on simple variables. There are three ways to declare variables in TypeScript and JavaScript: var, let, and const. In terms of specifying types, they all work the same, so for this video I’ll simply be using “let”. In a future video I’ll cover the differences between var, let, and const, but like I said, for this video, it doesn’t matter.

The first thing I want to touch on before we go much further is that TypeScript is really good at figuring out what the types of things are supposed to be without you needing to explicitly declare it.

For example, you can see here in Visual Studio Code we can figure out what the type of something is by hovering our mouse over, and we see that it pops up what it knows about this variable. It says “bar: number” which means it’s already figured out that this variable is a number!

However, you’ll often want to explicitly tell TypeScript what the type of something is, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this video. Now, as it turns out, that same syntax VS Code showed is what you’ll use to explicitly tell TypeScript what the type of something is.

We can say here “let bar: number”, and TypeScript will start enforcing that this variable can only ever be a number.

You’ll see if we try to change the value to something else, we’ll get a red underline, an error listed below, that this string is not assignable to type number.

And, just to be clear, if we remove the “: number”, we still get the same error, because TypeScript is going to assume that once you assign a variable a value of one type, that it was probably a mistake to use any other type.

Let’s start with the what the most basic types are in TypeScript: booleans, numbers, and strings.

A boolean can be either true or false.

A number can be any number you like.

And a string can be any text that you like.

Building on top of the basic types, we can do arrays of things by specifying the type and then writing an opening and closing square bracket.

There is an alternate syntax for writing arrays, though generally I don’t see it used as often. Instead of using the square brackets, you write Array, an angle bracket, the type contained in the array, and then a closing angle bracket. This is completely the same as the other syntax used above, and like I said, this is used much less commonly so I say default to the first way unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.

There’s also a variation on arrays called a tuple. If you’re not familiar with the term, you can think of it simply as an array with a fixed number of elements.

Say there are two pieces of data you always want to store next to each other, but don’t want to use a full object for whatever reason, you could do that with a tuple. For example, we could store student test scores as a tuple containing their name and the score.

Here, Tom has a score of 97.5.

And and you can see this is expecting just a string and a number. If we tried to add something extra to this, it’s going to complain to us that we’ve created something that’s not the size that we said it would be or if we try to remove a required element TypeScript will also complain. And similarly if we use the wrong type it’ll complain as well.

To be clear, you can have an array of tuples by combining the same syntaxes we’ve just learned. So we’ll have our tuple type followed by the opening and closing square brackets.

And then we would fill it out like so, and TypeScript will enforce that all the types we use here are correct.

Declaring our own objects is done in a very similar way to arrays. Let’s say we’re making a game, and we have a player with an x position, a y position, and some health. How would we do this in TypeScript?

We’ll start by declaring our player variable, then doing a colon and some curly brackets, and inside the curly brackets we can put the names and types of the fields we want to create. You’ll see that this looks very much like the actual object value that we’ll assign to the player object.

If we accidentally put in the wrong type, or if we add a field that doesn’t exist as part of the definition, TypeScript will complain at us.

It’ll often be the case that you’ll want to re-use object definitions like this in multiple places, say if you had multiple players or various functions that manipulated player objects.

There are two ways of doing this, the first and most direct way is to use the “type” keyword to define a new name that is equal to the type we defined for players earlier.

Then we can use that name in place of the full object definition for the player.

Another option with very similar effects is to create an interface. You can do this by using the “interface” keyword followed by the name you want, and then describe the types of the fields for the object like we did earlier. We can use it as the type for our player in exactly the same way that we used the definition created by the “type” keyword.

When is it appropriate to use “type” instead of “interface”? The answer is a bit too long for this video, so stay tuned for a future one where I’ll cover that. For now, just use whichever one you feel most comfortable with.

Now, going back to our example, you can see that I can now create a second player using the same type.

And if I update the definition of the type, TypeScript will helpfully give us an error on both of them, indicating that they need to be updated to match the changes.

This feedback loop is super common in development. You’ll often notice some object needs a new field, or needs that field altered in some way. You can make that change in the central type definition, and then go through and fix each of the places where TypeScript indicates that there’s a problem. No need to worry about whether you updated every spot or not, TypeScript will let you know.

Now is a good time to mention that in the same that way we created and used our own types above, we can use existing types that are part of JavaScript or JavaScript’s environment. For example, because we included “dom” in our “lib” in tsconfig.json, we can create a variable and declare that it’s type is HTMLElement. We could then fill this variable with something from the DOM API, like document.getElementById.

Now, you’ll see here that TypeScript is complaining about our HTMLElement variable. Why is it doing that? Well, if we hover over document.getElementById, we’ll see that the type is actually “HTMLElement | null”, the pipe character there means “or”. That’s because if we specify an ID that doesn’t exist on the page, this function will return null.

Using the pipe character to join multiple types together creates what’s called a “union type”, which is simply a fancy way of saying “this variable could be a few different things”. There’s a lot more to union types, and other related features in TypeScript that we’ll cover in a future video, for now, just be aware that if you have a variable that could be a couple different types, you can list those types by separating them with the pipe character.

Okay, so that covers the basics of builtin types and defining our own types. There’s a couple of catch-all types that I want to show you.

The first one is an “object”, and that represents anything that isn’t a basic type. So it’ll be anything that isn’t a boolean or a number or a string. For example, it could be HTMLElement or our Player type, or anything else. This is a type that I don’t see used all that often, because generally you either know what the object type is, or you use the even more general “any” keyword.

“any” is exactly what it sounds like. If you say the type of your variable is “any”, you’re saything that it can hold any value possible. Generally if you’re using TypeScript, I strongly recommend against reaching for “any” unless you absolutely have to use it. Though if you’re interacting with non-TypeScript code, it can be appropriate to use “any” in order to deal with JavaScript libraries that truly can produce any value.

Next up is talking about how to handle null, undefined, and how to use types with function definitions, but this video is already running a little long, so stay tuned for part 2 of this video.

If you’re enjoying what you’re learning here, you might like the TypeScript course that I’m working on. Head on over to https://typescriptbyexample.com, and you can put your email address in the form at the bottom of the page to be notified when it’s ready.

Thank you so much for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

Programming With Ruby Episode 4, Main Ruby Concepts

Covered In This Episode:

  • Basic Variables
  • Basic Methods
  • Basic Classes
  • Interactive Ruby (irb)


# Define the class Greeter
class Greeter
	# Define the method hello
	# This method greets the
	# user
	def hello(name)
		puts "Hello " + name
	end # End of the method hello
end # End of the class Greeter



Hello everybody and welcome to Programming With Ruby Episode 4, Main
Ruby Concepts.

Covered in this episode. We’ll be playing with interactive ruby (also

called irb). I will teach you about variables, basic methods, and

classes in Ruby. Lets get started!

Basics Description

Ruby is an object oriented programming language. object oriented
languages use objects. Ruby goes beyond most other object oriented
languages, because in Ruby, everything is an object. (I’ll show you
exactly what that means in a few minutes)

Object oriented programming sort of models real life. Look around you,
everything around you is an object. Your computer, your desk, books,
the moon, and people are all objects.

In programming, all objects have properties called variables. These
could be the color of the object, the weight, size, or any other kind
of property.

Objects also have methods (which are sometimes called functions). A
camera object would have a method to take pictures. A car would have a
method to drive. A printer would have a method to print.

As well as making code easier to understand, you will also continue to
appreciate other benefits of object oriented programming further on in
your programming career.


I have written a very basic Ruby program. This is about what most
programs look like, just a lot simpler. Let’s break it down line by

Everything followed by a hash mark (#), is ignored by Ruby. These are
called comments. In these comments you can describe what your code is
doing, make notes to yourself, and other such things.

The first line says “class Greeter”. This line tells Ruby that we are
now defining a class named “Greeter”. Please remember that all classes
in Ruby start with a capital letter!

The next line says “def hello(name)”. This line means we are defining
a function (def), named “hello”, that takes the parameter “name”.

The following line is a little trickier. ‘puts “Hello ” +
name’. “puts” means “put string”. our string is “Hello ” + name. Now
you’re probably wondering what the “+ name” is for. We’re aren’t doing
math on strings, but we are connecting the variable “name” to our other
string “Hello “.

The next two lines have the keyword “end”. The first end means we are
done defining the function “hello”. The second “end” means we are done
defining the class “Greeter”.

Below where the class “Greeter” ends we have the line ‘myname =
“Tyler”‘. This means are creating the variable myname and placing
“Tyler” inside of it.

Next is, the line “person = Greeter.new”. This means we are
instantiating a new greeter object named person.

Finally we have the line “person.hello(myname)”. This calls the
person object’s method “hello” and passes the variable “myname” as an

Now lets run the program. If you remember, to run a program you open
Terminal or Command Prompt, change directories into where you saved
your program and type “ruby programname.rb”. In my case I will type
“ruby episode4.rb”.
And there you have it, it says “Hello Tyler”

The code in this example will be available in the YouTube video
description, and below this video on manwithcode.com

Example 2
Back to the code. This code is actually a little longer
than it has to be. I did this so things would hopefully make more
sense. In reality we can change the last three lines to

We can do this because in Ruby, everything is an expression. Here’s how
it breaks down. “Greeter.new” creates a greeter object. “.hello” calls
the method “hello” on that new object. And then we pass in the string
“Tyler” as an parameter.

Ruby has many other tricks like this to make your code shorter. Some
have disadvantages and others do not. One of the most important
disadvantages can be clarity or readability. You want your code to be
as easy to understand as possible.

Interactive Ruby (or irb for short). irb makes it very easy to
quickly test out code, find out if/how something works, do basic math,
and write throwaway code you will only use once.

To open irb, open up your Command Prompt or Terminal and enter
irb. Alternatively, if you are on Windows, go into All Programs and
under Ruby will be a program name fxri which is an equivalent to irb.

In irb you can do basic math:

2 + 2 #=> 4
2**6 #=> 64
2 * 5 #=> 10

We can write any valid Ruby code. So we could write the greet method again.

def greet(name)
    puts "Hello " + name

And then call it:


Remember earlier I said everything in Ruby was an object? I’ll show
you what I mean. if you type in the name of an object and call the
class method it will tell you its class.

0.class #=> Fixnum
"Hello".class #=>; String
String.class #=> Class

I encourage you to play around with irb for a little while, try
writing your own methods, and have some fun with it.

This brings us to the end of this episode, I hope it helped
you.  If you need any help, have questions or comments, leave a
comment below or contact me at tyler@manwithcode.com

Don’t forget to donate! There is a donation link to the right of this
video. On YouTube its in the description box. On my website, it is to
the right of the video.

Thanks for watching! Bye!