Dock Life: Using Docker for All The Things!

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I think if you’re a DevOps person in any capacity, the utility of Docker is very clear. Your things run in containers that are identical everywhere. Assuming Docker is working/running, the code will execute in a reliably consistent way whether that is Docker running on some developer’s computer, or a sky computer. The (massive) appeal there is that bugs will happen consistently. “Production-only” bugs become a thing of the past. There are other benefits, too, like shipping a dev environment to a team of developers that is entirely consistent, even across platforms, rather than battling with individual developers computers.

So… great? Use it all the time for everything? The stopper there is that it’s complicated, and web dev is already friggin complicated and it often just feels like too much. Andrew Welch, however, makes the case that you don’t have to learn Docker super deeply in order to use it:

Dock­er is a devops tool that some peo­ple find intim­i­dat­ing because there is much to learn in order to build things with it. And while that’s true, it’s actu­al­ly quite sim­ple to start using Dock­er for some very prac­ti­cal and use­ful things, by lever­ag­ing what oth­er peo­ple have created.

Fair point. I don’t deeply understand most of the technology I use, but I can still use it.

While I run Docker all day for CodePen’s fancy dev environment, that’s what my use is limited to. I don’t reach for it like Andrew does for everything. But I can see how it might feel liberating having all that isolation between projects. One of my favorite of points that Andrew makes is:

Switch­ing to a new com­put­er is easy. You don’t have to spend hours metic­u­lous­ly recon­fig­ur­ing your shiny new Mac­Book Pro with all the inter­con­nect­ed tools & pack­ages you need.

I find myself bopping around between computers fairly often for various odd reasons, and being able to make the switch with minimal fussing around is appealing.

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