Launching on the scene in early 2012 as tools originally designed to help you get your frontend assets as ready for the internet as possible, this set of tools help to compile and “shrink” files, but also to compress images, linked files, and handle a variety of different tasks that would have otherwise been handled by a myriad of different tools or command line prompts.
Code Kit remains very alive and quite popular today, with its third version (3.0) released just recently.
Grunt and Bower
While development with both of these tools is slowing down considerably, new solutions have popped up to take their place and help carry the legacy that these tools established.
Gulp and Browserify
Browserify allowed for NPM packages to be brought into the front-end, essentially rendering Bower obsolete while leveraging the assets and foundational tools that it had helped to create. The graphic user interface was also much cleaner and easier to manage, providing a one-stop-shop solution for both front-end and backend administration.
Gulp remains incredibly popular, though Browserify popularity has dropped off a little bit in recent years.
Webpack and NPM Scripts