I started out in front end development using a pretty basic form of Webpack. It pretty much just included Babel and Sass compilers, a “start” script and React (my library of choice these days). Pretty simple.
I’ve since been dabbling with other frameworks, including create-react-app which I’m quickly becoming a fan of. In addition to what I’ve used in my scaled-back Webpack, create-react-app adds in a dev server with linting and hot reloading, which is a big help when checking for errors.
But I’d still like a beefier framework for larger projects. A friend of mine developed Perk, which I’ve used on several projects, especially those that need a back end. It includes Node.js for the back end stuff, linting and a dev server and makes it easy to write and run unit tests. It also has a Sass compiler unlike create-react-app and is easy to deploy to Heroku.
When I first started working with frameworks, I always thought about making the perfect one, at least for what I needed one for. But after experimenting with several, all focusing on different types and scales of projects, I think having multiple options at your disposal is a great thing.
I’m sure I’ll keep experimenting, and eventually start customizing more so that as I keep forming more preferences for what I like to use, I’ll gradually develop my own. But it’s good to know that there are a lot of great options out there already.