Bacteria have developed a wide arsenal of survival strategies to cope with the specific problems posed by their environment. These processes are carefully regulated and complex signal transduction cascades ensure proper activation of the adequate adaptive response. An intriguing observation is that generally the regulation pathways of the different adaptive processes are highly intertwined. In this review, this phenomenon is illustrated by the regulation of genetic competence development in Bacillus subtilis. The different regulation pathways which make up the gene regulation network that controls the development of competence are described, and their connections to other adaptive processes in B. subtilis are discussed.