As the balance has shifted toward browser-based front-ends, I have transitioned too and been happy for it. However, one thing irritates me about them: the build process. You see, with managed languages on the server (and .NET in particular), the build process was not a thing I had to worry about.
When doing server-side web apps with Visual Studio (WebForms, MVC), I never had to setup any build process. It was setup and maintained mostly automatically for you under the covers through the GUI solution explorer, which doubled as a file manager. This has negatives, but generally works well. When I was a junior dev I was not even aware of the build configuration/processes, because it just worked so I didn't have to know. (CI tools also used the project files to build and run tests.) Edit: removed extraneous details.
The first "modern" front-end project I did, I setup a build script with gulp to bundle and minify JS/CSS. I went from builds not even being a thought in my head to having to code the entire build process myself. I got it to work, but I was incredulous that it was worth the effort and abandoned it. For a while, I got by on VS plugins which would minify or bundle automatically on save.
Fast forward to today. I have created a bunch of front-end apps using webpack to build. I find a starter project that is close to what I want, then spend some time tweaking it to suit my needs. I've had to do this for most new projects... either because I learn new things or webpack version upgrades or template stops being maintained. It still feels like a waste of time and brain cells to futz with. Especially because my needs are simple: compile to js / css, bundle and minify, link in an index page. Yet I have to deal with the intricacies of webpack and a handful of loaders and plugins to accomplish this. And I still haven't figured out some things related to building multiple (Elm) apps which share common code.
There has got to be a better way. So what am I missing? Is there a tool I can use to make build setups easier? It could be a VS Code extension or different build program (i.e. not webpack) or whatever. Does anyone else have awareness or even care that front-end builds are a pain compared to what else is out there?