What Is Docker and How Does It Help Company Organization?
You would get a headache, too, if you had to manually configure yet another server to verify another new product increment or add another member to your project team. Now imagine doing that in a flash. Docker's self-sufficient containers allow for rapid configuration of preset environments, even if you need them only for a quick POC. Docker is a valuable tool in every software house that aims for streamlined and organized development work. Docker helps developers code faster and deploy apps sooner. Let’s take a look at how it benefits company organization and why it’s good to show devs how to use it best.
What Is Docker?
Docker is an open-source software for deployment and development of applications within containers. Containers allow developers to emulate applications regardless of the OS and programming language, across multiple computers.
Containers are portable and can be run both in the cloud or on a machine with Docker installed, which makes using Docker in developing very flexible. We live and breathe flexibility here at Polcode.
Why We Use Docker
Docker requires fewer infrastructure resources and doesn’t need installation of various language environments on a local machine to work. Both these traits make developing in Docker faster and more organized.
When developing in Docker, devs can assign and distribute resources to certain containers with applications. This reduces downtime and keeps performance at a decent level.
If there is no need to install different environments along with their configuration, developers don’t have to go through the trouble of preparing their computers for every programming language.
We also use Docker because it makes deployment easier. The general rule is that, if the application works in a container, it will work when sent to the server, as well. So when you sent your app with a respective Docker image, there’s no need to worry that it won’t run properly.
Why Docker Makes Polcode a More Organized Company
Knowing the advantages of using Docker, we’ve decided to implement it in all of our projects and dev teams since our last Docker workshop.
The main benefit is that it provides a consistent development environment for all devs involved in a project. Consistent development environment means there’s no need to worry about the version of the programming language, dependencies management, database version, or server configuration since all of that is unified in Docker.
When dealing with multiple projects, a unified development environment allows us to reduce development time and cut costs. It also ensures that Docker-based applications written in, for example, RoR or PHP, run on all machines and operating systems rather than just a few on which they have been developed. This eliminates the risk of a malfunctioning app due to a given machine’s configuration.
In general, using Docker in client projects allows us to be more efficient and less dependent on externalities. Docker lets us work on more projects while allowing us to deliver the same results.
We use Docker because it makes controlling our development process much easier, which generates faster results for our clients, even if dev team size is dynamic throughout the project. So far, we’ve noticed Docker benefiting our clients the most during:
- Rapid changes of team members—comfort in choosing highly specialized staff for your projects. Specialized staff can start bringing noticeable contributions to the dev team on the first contact, not days after getting situated.
- Decreased dependency on hosting service providers, which could otherwise impose general environment updates or patches that can interfere with your development process.
- Superfast migrations of the current state development instances when forced to move to a different or more powerful host server.
- Rapid deployments and demos of specific product increments in autonomous environments independently of other ongoing dev efforts.
- Ability to perform quick and harmless POC (Proof of Concept) installation of larger external modules while having the comfort of canceling such tests without the need for backups, rollbacks, or any other risks in clients’ production systems.
- Fluent and easy server-environment experiments with fast feedback after empirical proof that certain concept does or does not bring benefits to a client. All of it while working in an isolated area—separated from future dev efforts if need be.
- Lower hosting costs for clients who prefer or are forced to centralize all of their web systems on one server, at the same time allowing them to safely differentiate environment configurations; for instance, various PHP versions on PROD and on DEV while both live on the same server.
Why Is Docker Needed?
Docker is a useful software in development, allowing dev teams to work faster and be more organized. At Polcode, we believe frequent workshops on Magento, PHP, RoR, WordPress, and other trusted technologies improve the quality of our work—Docker being no different.
We organize workshops every quarter, following up with detailed surveys that allow us to immediately enhance upcoming sessions. Through workshops, we also aim to foster communication and teamwork among our developers. Here’s what they have to say about our 2017 Docker workshops.
“Docker is a pain in the neck. But it’s a good thing we’ve come back to this tool. Workshops at Polcode should focus on current and trending technologies that we don’t know or use yet but are acclaimed resources in the programming world.”
“Docker—a great thing! For example, using tools such as gulp, where you can immediately publish minified and compiled js/css. Workshops also taught me that I have to review my knowledge of gulp/grunt.”
As you can see, introducing new tools isn’t always easy, but we encourage our teams to discover and utilize latest and verified technologies that streamline work and make deployment faster.