There is no such thing as ‘build-essential’ in CentOS

One thing I’ve done for a long time right after installing debian or ubuntu is issuing

# apt-get install build-essential

It’s great because it pulls down the most common stuff needed for ‘everyday’ compiling and meddling with compiling sources and so on.
In CentOS I can’t find any similar package group, but according to centos.org one may achieve pretty much the same with

# install gcc gcc-c++ kernel-devel