Harry Potter is like the gateway fandom. You start reading the books, then all of a sudden you have a sonic screwdriver, you want to go to Rivendell, and you have this awkward fascination with Sherlock Holmes. And you don’t really know how any of it happened, but you’re pretty sure it started with Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Dursley of Four Privet Drive who were proud to say that they were perfectly normal thank you very much.


The Tenth Doctor (and David Tennant) tossing things & catching them

(…often while not even looking at what he’s tossing)

Edited to add a bonus: Teenager-Tennant started this habit quite young:

I’m sick and don’t want to move, so you get Stan and Soos headcanons.

Did twelve year old Soos even know how to fix anything? I submit that he did not. I mean, it’s possible he’d helped Abulita with some simple home repair stuff before—but also, it’s just as likely that he didn’t? He was twelve and his qualifications for being hired were “he was holding a screwdriver at the time.” 

So imagine the day he first shows up for work. Stan’s like “okay, twelve year old that I hired in defiance of both common sense and child labor laws, here’s the golf cart. The problem’s pretty simple, I could fix it myself if I weren’t busy, so hop to it. Here’s a toolbox, I will provide no adult supervision.” 

Stan leaves and Soos is like “okay, I can do this. How hard can it be?” And proceeds to break it a whole ton more than it was broken to begin with, because he’s just a kid kind of taking things apart and trying to put them back together with no idea what he’s doing.

Stan comes back a few hours later and looks at the small child surrounded by engine parts like “welp, I should have seen this coming.” But Soos is close to tears, he’s frustrated and exhausted and probably with a handful of little cuts and such on his hands from rooting around inside a golf cart. He’d been so proud that he’d gotten a real grown-up job–at the coolest place in Gravity Falls, no less! But now he can’t do the one thing he’s supposed to and his fingers hurt and he’s tired and embarrassed.

He starts bawling and begs Stan not to fire him–which, of course, makes Stan incredibly uncomfortable and tugs at his soft little marshmallow of a heart.

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Open Sourcing Screwdriver, Yahoo’s Continuous Delivery Build System for Dynamic Infrastructure

By James Collins, Sr. Director, Developer Platforms and Services, and St. John Johnson, Principal Engineer

Continuous Delivery enables software development teams to move faster and adapt to users’ needs quicker by reducing the inherent friction associated with releasing software changes. Yahoo’s engineering has modernized as it has embraced Continuous Delivery as a strategy for improving product quality and engineering agility. All our active products deliver from commit to production with full automation and this has greatly improved Yahoo’s ability to deliver products.  

Part of what enabled Yahoo to make Continuous Delivery at scale a reality was our improved build and release tooling. Now, we are open sourcing an adaptation of our code as, a new streamlined build system designed to enable Continuous Delivery to production at scale for dynamic infrastructure.

Some of the key design features of Screwdriver have helped Yahoo achieve Continuous Delivery at scale. At a high level these are:

  • Making deployment pipelines easy
  • Optimizing for trunk development
  • Making rolling back easy

Easy deployment pipelines: Deployment pipelines that continuously test, integrate, and deploy code to production greatly reduce the risk of errors and reduce the time to get feedback to developers. The challenge for many groups had been that pipelines were cumbersome to setup and maintain. We designed a solution that made pipelines easy to configure and completely self-service for any developer. By managing the pipeline configuration in the code repository Screwdriver allows developers to configure pipelines in a manner familiar to them, and as a bonus, to easily code review pipeline changes too.

Trunk development: Internally, we encourage workflows where the trunk is always shippable. Our teams use a modified GitHub flow for their workflows. Pull Requests (PRs) are the entry point for running tests and ensuring code that entered the repository has been sufficiently tested. Insisting on formal PRs also improves the quality of our code reviews.

To ensure trunks are shippable, we enable functional testing of code in the PRs. Internally, this is a configuration baked into pipelines that dynamically allocates compute resources, deploys the code, and runs tests. These tests include web testing using tools like Selenium. These dynamically-allocated resources are also available for a period after the PR build, allowing engineers to interact with the system and review visual aspects of their changes.

Easy rollbacks: To allow for easy code rollbacks, we allow phases of the pipeline to be re-run at a previously-saved state. We leverage features in our PaaS to handle the deployment, but we store and pass metadata to enable us to re-run from a specific git SHA with the same deployment data. This allows us to roll back to a previous state in production. This design makes rolling back as easy as selecting a version from a dropdown menu and clicking “deploy.” Anyone with write access to the project can make this change. This helped us move teams to a DevOps model where developers were responsible for the production state.

The successful growth of Screwdriver over the past 5 years at Yahoo has today led to Screwdriver being synonymous with Continuous Delivery within the company. Screwdriver handles over 25,000+ builds per day and 12,000+ daily git commits as a single shared entrypoint for Yahoo. It supports multiple languages and handles both virtual machine and container-based builds and deployment.

External image’s architecture is comprised of four main components: a frontend for serving content to the user, a stateless API that orchestrates between user interactions and build operations, the execution engines (Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, etc.) that checkout source code and execute in containers, and the launcher that executes and monitors commands inside the container.

The diagram below shows this architecture overlaid with a typical developer flow.

External image

To give some context around our execution engines, internal Screwdriver started as an abstraction layer on top of Jenkins and used Docker to provide isolation, common build containers, etc. We used features provided by Jenkins plugins to leverage existing work around coverage and test reports. However, as Screwdriver usage continued to climb, it outgrew a single Jenkins cluster. So in order to grow to our needs, we added capabilities in Screwdriver that allowed us to scale horizontally while also adding capabilities to schedule pipelines across a number of Jenkins clusters. As we scaled Screwdriver, we used less from Jenkins and built more supporting services utilizing our cloud infrastructure. The open-source version is focused on Kubernetes and Docker Swarm as our primary supported execution engines.

In the coming months we will expand our offering to match many of the features we have internally, including:

  • Mechanism to store structured build data for later use (last deployed version, test coverage, etc.)
  • Built-in metric collecting
  • System-wide templates to enable getting started quickly
  • Log analysis to provide insights to developers

Please join us on the path to making Continuous Delivery easy. Visit to get started.

OKAY SO LIKE I HAD A DREAM AND IN THE DREAM I WAS READING A TUMBLR POST AND IT SAID “can we all agree that earth is actually just one really big room cut up into sections” AND I JUST