Yes, you do need a build step
Along with that productivity boost came the build step. I believe webpack is one of the most important pieces of software to be developed in the past decade. It has had a profound and lasting change on how web applications are built. It took the concepts introduced by Browserify and Grunt and grew them into a large open source ecosystem. The sheer breadth of loaders for webpack is its superpower. The ability to import anything into the AST1 for bundling is a powerful feature that I’ve yet to see fully replicated by competing projects. I hope this isn’t ignored as people fret about build times.
I’m not convinced Deno will be the runtime that replaces node.js, but it’s a much needed alternative to open people up to the idea that the future of web development can be both productive and less complex compared to where we are today.
Abstract Syntax Tree. The in-memory data structure that represents the imported modules and their dependencies on each other before webpack does its transforms and exports the bundle. Those of us with a CS background likely first encountered them in our compilers class. ↩