Notes: Adopting Typescript at Scale

Brie Bunge takes us through Airbnb's approach to adopting Typescript. This is worth a watch to get a grasp of the process even if you're not using Typescript.

Checkout the video here:

Adopting Typescript at Scale


  • What doe scale mean in this context? Hundreds of developers at Airbnb now use Typescript as their primary language for front-end development.

  • 2m lines of JavaScript needed converting, over 100 internal npm packages. 1300 engineers 200 of which work on the front-end.

  • The idea was raised at the front-end working group meeting where they talk about new technologies, make and discuss proposals.

  • These are deliberate decisions about what they commit to as a team.

  • They used pilot teams first who were then sent a survey to see if they should keep using it.

  • There are types maintained in a public package for packages which aren’t typed with Typescript. Sharing is caring.

  • Codemods can help you do large refactors.

Impact of introducing Typescript:

  • Fewer bugs - externally it had been reported to reduce number of bugs by 15%. After analysis of recent bugs Brie found that 38% of those bugs would have been preventable with Typescript.
  • A better developer experience.
  • End to end type safety as types can be used across front and back-end.

If you want to do something similar:

  • Gather evidence and support
  • Gradually introduce change
  • Be inspired to make the change you are passionate about

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