Earlier this month, Nomic Labs won a $50,000 Ethereum Foundation grant to work on Buidler. The idea is that the current tools available to developers of EDCCs (aka smart contracts) on the Ethereum blockchain are "unreliable" and "rigid," which leads to duplicated efforts.
To make developers' lives just a little easier and speed along the "maturity" of Ethereum developer tools, Nomic labs is developing what it calls Ethereum's first task runner, Buidler.
A task runner is a computer program which completes repetitive tasks, such as testing, compiling, and deploying code. In this case, the Solidity code used to put together EDCCs.
Nomic's goal is for developers to be able to use Buidler to "hook into" or just replace these kinds repetitive tasks, thereby speeding up the development process while also spurring adoption.
Buidler is similar to task runners such as Gradle, Gulp, and Webpack. However, the developers at Nomic labs felt like these programs were "too tied to their own platforms to serve Ethereum well," so they developed Buidler to be compatible with existing Ethereum developer tools and easily incorporated into a development cycle.
According to the Buidler user guide, in addition to taking over some of the more menial tasks, the program will estimate the cost of deployment gas for the developer, allow developers to test their projects any way they see fit, and be customizable to the point that it will allow developers to override built-in tasks by simply redefining them.
According to the user guide, Buidler is ready to use. However, given that it is an alpha release, Nomic Labs warns that it could be a little buggy and some application program interfaces (API) are subject to change.