We describe state-of-the-art simulations of weakly ionized low-temperature plasmas for modern technologies. Emphasis is placed on fluorocarbon plasmas for manufacturing microelectronic devices and plasmas of rare gases for excimer lamps. Electron kinetics plays a crucial role in these plasmas. We illustrate the specifics of electron kinetics in different types of gas discharges. We evaluate the availability and quality of electron collision cross sections (total and differential) for elastic collisions with neutral species, excitation of electronic levels of atoms and internal levels of molecules, as well as their effect on the electron distribution function (EDF) and plasma chemistry. Among the crucial data needs for simulations of industrial plasma sources are validated gas-phase chemical reaction mechanisms including electron-induced reactions and gas phase reactions among heavy species.