The centriole is a beautiful microtubule-based organelle that is critical for the proper execution of many fundamental cellular processes, including polarity, motility, and division. Centriole biogenesis, the making of this miniature architectural wonder, has emerged as an exemplary model to dissect the mechanisms governing the assembly of a eukaryotic organelle. Centriole biogenesis relies on a set of core proteins whose contributions to the assembly process have begun to be elucidated. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the mechanisms by which these core characters function in an orderly fashion to assemble the centriole. In particular, we discuss how having the correct proteins at the right place and at the right time is critical to first scaffold, then initiate, and finally execute the centriole assembly process, thus underscoring fundamental principles governing organelle biogenesis.