docker-deep-dive-coverDocker Deep Dive by Nigel Poulton is one of the more popular books on teaching users about creating and managing Docker containers. I’ve been mystified by container technology for a while now but I just couldn’t find the time to jump in. But with the technology landscape changing so fast, not staying even partially up to date will seriously leave you and the company you work for at a serious disadvantage. Like many administrators, we all know what virtual machines are. However, are containers considered the same? If not, then how are they different and how will they help us? What makes containers different, for better or worst, when compared to the virtual machines we all know and love today? Does it even make sense to learn Docker and container technology or is it just a fad and will eventually go out of favor once the hype settles down? The author does go into some of these questions briefly but if you’re reading this book, chances are you’re like me and have already made the decision to learn this cool technology. There are many other places on the Internet you can visit to dig more deeply into those questions. This book will actually teach you how to use Docker from a beginner’s point of view.

I have to admit though that prior to reading Docker Deep Dive, I’ve already completed half of my video Docker course at Udemy. When learning new technologies, I like to watch a video course while also reading a book on the subject and preferably from different authors and creators. This allows me to pick the brains from different people on the subject matter and so to get a different perspective on things. This book will get you up and running with Dockers immediately and with minimal fuss. All you need is a computer with an active internet connection and you can be learning and using Dockers! Best thing is that Docker is cross platform so it will work almost seamlessly across both Mac/Linux and Windows. The author goes through the commands you’ll use line by line to better help you understand what each one of them will do. Once you get the hang of it, you should then be able to glance at the command and visual what will happen in the background without any help.

A lot of the major topic gets covered here. In fact, the author claims at the time of the writing that his book is the only one that covers every exam topic in the Docker Certified Associate exam. Due to how Dockers utilizes layers, it makes sense to start things at the bottom and working upwards and this is exactly what the author does with his book as well. He starts off with explaining single engine mode to creating simple containers and then moving on to more higher level concepts that builds on top of the lower layer like swarm mode, services and then to stacks and finally how to package all that into making Docker work in production environments with Docker Enterprise Edition and the tools that go with it. Each chapter is broken down into three sections with the first being the TLDR section where he’ll explain very briefly on the subject from 10,000 foot high. He’ll then go into the deep dive and that’s where things pick up and you do all the learning. The last section is spent on going over the various commands that was used in the chapter. Because maintaining Docker is mainly done through the command line interface, taking the time to go over each command at the end of the chapter helps to cement them in your mind.

While the book doesn’t aim to turn you into a Docker professional by the end of it, it will give you a solid foundation into how Docker works and how to use it in your every day administration of Docker containers. I did wish that the author would have included more real world examples of Docker in action. Also, I’m sure users would find this out on their own but the author should have thrown in references from as this is one of the premier site officially from Dockers themselves to learn the inner workings of the Docker commands. It also would have been great if the author could dish out pointers and side notes of Docker being used in real world enterprise environments from all the years of experience he has with it. It’s easy to see the passion the author has for Docker and container technology though. It’s always great to read from authors who are actually excited about the things they are writing and teaching about and not treat it as just a technical reference.

If you are just starting your journey into Docker and containers like I am, I strongly recommend this book! It’s easy to understand and you’ll have a lot of fun with Dockers!