In EaW, nobody really knows ... determining which ships can make bombing runs; nobody knows what controls it.
If you mean priority (ex. K-Wing vs. Y-Wing) that's governed by the Squadron's <Formation_Priority> iirc. Though, odds are you're referring to something else. :v
Anyways, I started out modding a number of years ago, on EaW. Made my own mod (I'm sure nobody here's even heard of the Hull Breach Mod) and then offered to help with IA2's coding, though that never went anywhere. After a hiatus I came back and a friend and I add to and changed the CIS mod for ours and a group of friends to MP with. After some convincing from Chimaera, I got Sins after he told me about Sins of a Galatic Empire. Liked the mod so much that I started doing some unofficial addons with him for it, and now I'm actually a part of the SoGE staff.
The good thing about Sins is that it's fairly user friendly, and it's what things do is fairly clear cut and known, which is a really nice feature. This makes it fairly easy to learn things quickly, as I did, though this also means a ton of stuff is hardcoded, as others have already covered. One of the most surprising features of Sins, imo, is that ships lack any sort of scaling option/code line, aka. ship models have to be the size you want them to be. This makes it harder to get ships to scale, and adds more of a burden to modelors. In terms of coding, my tool of preference is Notepad, and I use Notepad ++ if I ever have to go to a line (as regular Notepad can never do that for some reason, even though it should). For icon editting and texture re-saving/conversions I use Adobe Photoshop CS5. For converting the original Entitys, editting String files, and such, before I really knew of these forums, I did a google search and found this tool called "Sins Mod Helper". After some tweaking I got it to work with Entrenchment with no issue. Making it work with normal Sins is a matter of renaming 2 files, and vice versa. Kudos to whomever made it, if you're reading this!
Bug squashing in Sins, at least compared to EaW, is nearly a joke. With the ability to turn ShowErrors on, finding the source of troubles is fairly easy (assuming it isn't due to a hardcoded limit being broken/breeched), and then it's a simple question of fixing that space or recounting a bunch of groups in GalaxyScenDef. In the past it could take me hours to fix a simple error, in Sins I can fix things within minutes, which is an amazing feat. I really regret not buying Sins early, when it first came out, a close friend of mine even recommended it at the time.
Tools are, at least from my limited experiance, one of the areas where Sins shines. Besides third party applications like the Sins Mod Helper, IC has released some really nifty tools. The Galaxy Forge makes it fairly easy to make maps, letting things fairly exact (thanks to being able to manually input numbers for certain things), and is actually fun to use. I was plesently surprised when I took it up last month, to make a map I had previously drawn/planned by hand last August, to find the GF fairly easy and simple to use, and also being very portable as well, it runs without a hitch off of a USB stick, thanks to no installation being required.