I was recently given an interesting assignment. One of our clients had found a bug in Print module. If you're not familiar with it, Print module is a simple tool that gives you links on your content to create a printer friendly page from otherwise color and complex content. It also allows you to email content to a friend and create PDFs of the content.
When a client asks for a way to pull content onto a site through RSS, the obvious choice is to use Drupal's Feeds module. I've never been really in love with this module but it does the job well. We recently had an interesting case that required extending the normal functionality of feeds to interact with custom content types.
Context is one of the most useful architectural modules for Drupal. Context works by setting conditions such as a path or a node type and, if that condition is present, reactions such as adding blocks to regions or setting an active menu.
Is Drupal a bad platform for designers?
If you were paying attention to the Drupal Planet or the twitter feeds of various Drupal community members and designers in the Drupal world, you might think the answer is a resounding 'Yes'.
As noted in Jody's blog-post regarding this same subject, there are a number of tools out there which allow for simple cvs checkout from Drupal's repository. Unfortunately, they need to be installed separately for each website, which can be a pain.
There are lots of great Drupal productivity/development modules (e.g. drush, devel, coder) which, due to their nature as modules, need to be installed on each site you work on. If you work on a dizzying number of different Drupal sites, productivity improvements which are not site-specific are the most useful.