If there's one thing we've all grown to encounter in Drupal it has, and probably will always be, configuration management. Drupal 8 is looking to solve a lot of that. However a lot of us don't live in the Drupal 8 world and can't sit and wait for that "magical" day. Features gives us a lot of functionality, but after a certain point Features either breaks down or becomes too cumbersome to manage.
One of the benefits to using Drupal is harnessing the command line tool Drush. If you don’t know about Drush, I advise heading over the the repository and also checking out this guide. Drush is powerful because its commands allow you to simplify your workflow - from clearing caches to migrating databases across environments. One of the best features, in my opinion, is the make command. Using Drush you can build Drupal with specific libraries and modules from a makefile. To make it even more awesome you can patch these projects through the makefile.
A recent project of mine has been ContribKanban.com for the Drupal community. The name speaks for itself - it provides a way for contributors to work on Drupal.org project issues queues through a kanban board. This app has two purposes: visualize the Drupal.org project issue queues in a useful fashion, and provide an experiment that tries to fully utilize Drupal.org APIs.