The success of SAT technology in the last decade is mainly due to both the availability of numerous efficient SAT solvers and to the growing number of problems that can efficiently be solved through a translation into SAT. If the main application in the early 2000 was bounded model checking, the current applications range from formal verification (in both software and hardware) to bioinformatics. The benefit of the incredible improvements in the design of efficient SAT solvers those recent years is now reaching our lives: The Intel Core7 processor for instance has been designed with the help of SAT technology, while the device drivers of Windows 7 are being certified thanks to an SMT solver (based on a SAT solver).
Designing efficient SAT solvers requires both a good theoretical knowledge about the design of SAT solvers, i.e. how are interacting all its components, and a deep practical knowledge about how to implement efficiently such components.
The SAT community organizes regularly SAT competitive events (SAT competition or SAT Races) to evaluate available SAT solvers on a wide range of problems. The winners of those events set regularly new standards in the area.