I use Docker almost every day, at this point.
But, I’m not using it to deploy my applications or run them in production.
Instead, I’m using it because I need to continue development of multiple apps, with multiple versions of multiple services, and I don’t want to install those services on my laptop, directly.
In the past, supporting many apps with different services was painful.
No one wants to install 3 versions of Visual Studio, SQL Server and Oracle. Yet this is what I’ve had to do, and have done a few times, to work on specific apps.
Because of this, I started using virtual machines to keep these services off my computer.
I use virtual machines for things like Oracle XE instances, or LDAP servers that require Java. I’ve had Visual Studio installations for development on older projects that needed updates.
And there was one time when I bought $75,000 worth of virtualization hardware. This kept a team of 60+ developers from clobbering each other’s environments, with 8+ active projects to support.
Virtual machines made my life as a developer, much easier. But, I’ve recently started to shut down and delete them.
Instead of virtual machines, now I’m using virtual applications.
It started when I needed an Oracle installation for one of my client projects. I spent 2 weeks trying to install and configure Oracle on a Linux virtual machine.
It never worked.
Then, over in the WatchMeCode slack community, Fred Lackey suggested I grab this Oracle XE installation for Docker. So I grabbed Docker for Mac and read the most basic of instructions for getting the Oracle image pulled down and running.
In less than 30 minutes, I went from “I’ve never even installed Docker” to “Now, I’m using Docker to run Oracle XE for my development project!”
You don’t need to deploy with Docker, to take advantage of it.
I have to admit, I largely avoided Docker in the past, because I assumed it was only useful for production environments. Clearly, I was wrong about that.
Docker is something every developer should use. Including you! Yes, you. Go install it. Today. Right now!
You’ll keep your laptop clean. You’ll run virtualized software and services for projects when you need them, and turning those services off when you don’t.
I have Oracle XE, MongoDB, RabbitMQ and other services in Docker, but none of them are taking any resources beyond a bit of hard drive space.
Need help getting started?
I’ve got a few free episodes on installing Docker over at WatchMeCode. There are more episodes for members, covering the basics, and I’ve got many more in progress.
But I want to help with more than just the free installation videos.
Join my mailing list, below, and I’ll send you 2 free episodes, beyond the installation of Docker:
- Download and Run Example Images, and
- Basic Image & Container Management
With these two episodes and the three free covering installation, you’ll be up and running in no time!