When you are working with SPFX and you start it with
gulp serve, it takes some time to start. During this startup many things happen but there are not clear indication if SPFx is working or what it actually does.
Once the workbench was started you see all the gulp task that will be executed with or without error and what it actually does.
The background tasks are well hidden, but you can take a peek into those background activities. It’s just a simple trick, but I use it every time now when I work with SPFX now.
gulp server and add the command line option
--verbose. Execute SPFx with:
gulp serve --verbose
Now the hidden world and architecture of SPFX will become more visible. In additon you get sometimes many additonal informations what might goes wrong.
From my point of view, it is easier and helps with debugging.
I will also see if the issue is caused by your configuration, code or locate a problem with SPFX.