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An Inside Look At How Netflix Builds Code ( 48

mmoorebz writes: Netflix is known as a place to binge watch television, but behind the scenes, there's a lot that goes on before everyone's favorite show can be streamed. The first step to deploying an application or service is building. Netflix created Nebula, a set of plugins for the Gradle build system, that "help with the heavy-lifting around building applications," said the engineers. Once the code has been built and tested locally using Nebula, the team pushes the updated source code to a Git repository. Every deployment at Neflix begins with the creation of an Amazon Machine Image, and to generate them from source, Netflix created what it calls "the Bakery." It exposes an API that facilitates the creation of AMIs globally, according to the blog. When it comes time to deploy and after the "baking" is complete, teams will use Spinnaker to manage multi-region deployments, canary releases, and red/black deployments. Netflix is continuing to look at the developer experience and determine how it can improve.
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An Inside Look At How Netflix Builds Code

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  • by CAOgdin ( 984672 ) on Friday March 11, 2016 @09:56PM (#51682487)

    ...if you even BOTHERED to look at your Streaming GUI from a customers' perspective. Difficult to find anything, hard to stop and backup, or skip forward. It's as if you threw it together at a drunken party. I love to watch the content, but getting there and being able to control the experience is at about the Windows 3.1 level of design.

    THEN brag about your production build process as something that turns a great user experience into code that delivers it!

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Friday March 11, 2016 @10:01PM (#51682515)

      Welcome to the new apps age, where options are too complicated for the stupid sheeple.

      Multi windows systems? Too complicated, we need gnome 3!

      Email? Too complicated, we need Whatsapp!

      IRC? Too complicated, we need Slack!

      Middle mouse equals paste for wayland? Too complicated, we don't need a paste buffer!

    • It seems that they can't be bothered with QA testing their client releases as well. For a few weeks, I recently had a Netflix client on my XBox One that didn't work with my remote control. I had to power on the XBox game controller and use it to navigate the menu! They eventually offered an application patch for that, but what the hell, guys?

      Instead of investing millions on automated tests, maybe they should invest $50 in a Harmony remote that works with an XBox One and have someone test with it before sign

    • Viewers value the amount of time they get to spend watching things. Suppliers charge by the number of times a stream is started and by the popularity of the streamed work. Therefore, Netflix is incentivized to get you to watch any random thing the whole way through then start you on the next random thing.

      What you are complaining about are deliberate choices which show that Netflix is successfully responding to their incentives.

      • Suppliers charge by the number of times a stream is started and by the popularity of the streamed work.

        Are you sure about that? My understanding is that most content is contracted on flat fixed fee basis. Here's an example contract (PDF, Wikileaks) between Columbia Pictures (Sony) and Netflix for a package of content. All flat fixed fee with incremental increases. Nothing based on the number of times streamed. []

        Perhaps other content is contracted by the number of times streamed but you gotta show evidence.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      The windows 10 app has been a clusterfuck. For months the remote control worked, but video would freeze but audio would continue and then video would play catchup a few seconds later.

      Finally they released an update that fixed that.
      But the remote control doesn't work. Can't even play/pause with it right now.

      It used to launch full screen, now it launches windowed, every single time. That wouldn't be so bad except you can't put it into full screen until AFTER something is streaming; not while you are browsing

    • I believe the obfuscated browsing is intentional on their part, designed to mask the limited content available and somehow make it seem as if there is more content than there really is.

      I seem to recall when they first started streaming, there were better search options but it often returned basically null results. I think that plus the initial rise of complaints about how little content there was actually available for streaming have led them to "refine" the user interface to make it seem if there was more

    • Whenever I start a Netflix show the first 5 minutes or so are crap resolution. But by the end of the show it's fine. I generally see that it's streamming at about 2.5Mb/sec both at the start and at the end. I have a 20mb/sec connection that actually speed tests well, I have three different wifi routers, and three unrelated devices that can show movies (not at the same time).
      Netflix tells me they think it's my routers. Yet amazon streaming works fine. What can I do to answer this?

    • I wouldn't call the Netflix UI great but I have no problem with the basics that you slagged them about. Using keyboard shortcuts makes stopping/starting (spacebar), skipping backward/forward (left/right cursor keys) very easy.

  • This story was about hacking Netflix. then it might belong on /. didn't read the article. stupid shit about how Netflix is Netflix, I'm guessing....who gives a shit. Not nerds or people that give a shit about hacking shit.
  • I can't understand a single word they are saying. Where's my PDP 8 and PAL3 assembler....

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger