Alex Forsythe posted a really useful video to Reddit over the weekend, explaining UE4's build process. It's well worth a watch, because if you're tied to Visual Studio then you're really missing out:
I've moved over to Rider since it hit alpha and although that's faster than Visual Studio, there are plenty of times where I pop over to SublimeText to edit because it's practically instant. You don't always need a full IDE...
So yeah, I recommend having an external setup like this, and knowing how the command-line side of things works, always helps.