We still use Less, jQuery, Bower, and Gulp on projects, but I try to go with a more modern stack on new projects. So don't take this as a "wow, I need to refactor all of my apps now." Don't break what already works, but that doesn't mean that you should stagnate on new technologies.
This also doesn't mean that you should not take a look at Angular, Ember, or other alternatives. It's just nice that we're not arguing about which tool is best anymore in 2016 (or at least not as much). Pick what works best for you, and if are having a hard time then simply try what the community seems to prefer as a whole. The point is to spend time building web apps rather than figuring out which tool to use.
Next, let's get to the primary point of this article: stop using tools that you don't need. I'm talking about using alternatives that are already available in most cases.
The first tool on the list is Bower, a package manager for the web. The idea is that you use the
bower install command to install front-end dependencies such as Bootstrap, jQuery, etc. However, you are probably already using npm to manage dependencies for Node.js. Did you know that you can use npm the same way that you use Bower? Check out this article on using npm on the client side. Boom, one less tool to worry about.
Gulp or Grunt
So how do you go about not needing jQuery? The site youmightnotneedjquery.com is a good resource on using native APIs such as
querySelectorAll() and what the browser support is like. For Ajax, there is the
fetch() API and helpers such as SuperAgent and axios. Okay, that's three tools out already. Let's see if we can do one more.
Sass, Less, or Stylus
This is more opinionated, but CSS preprocessors can be cut as well and be replaced by PostCSS. You're probably already using Autoprefixer to automatically add vendor prefixes, and you may not realize that this is actually a PostCSS plugin that you're using. If all that you're using preprocessors for are variables, nesting, and imports, then take a look at cssnext. It's a PostCSS plugin that includes upcoming features to CSS. This means that you can get most of the features you need and still write standard CSS. Anything that is missing can be added through plugins, but I personally stick to using as few as possible. If you got this far, congrats!