Top Books That Can Help You Learn Docker Regardless of Your Skills Level

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In June of the year 2014, the entire programming community was waiting for Solomon Hykes to release Docker. It was way more than just any open-source technology. Docker was the technology that made containers relatively easy-to-use.

Since its release, Docker has become immensely popular as it empowers anyone using it to ship or package any programs with ease. Docker also let you run numerous applications on the same old servers which otherwise was not possible.

More into Docker…

By now it is clear that Docker is not only popular but essential for developing software.  You can easily describe Docker in 3 words i.e. deployment made easy, but wait, it is way more than that. Going beyond just the deployment of a simple project, Docker & its components are capable of custom environments in a container and data replication. It has so much to offer for software developers throughout the world. Because of this, we have stacked some of the most essential and best books to learn Docker.

The concept of Docker can be a little more complicated for beginners, but as time progressed, Docker has become more relevant. So the question comes, how do you begin? Here I have listed some of the most used and the top books were written on Docker that will help you not just starting with this concept but ultimately understanding it to the core. These books cover all the levels from the very beginner to professionals.

Read More: Top Reasons For Using Docker To Boost Productivity Software Installation

Top Books To Learn Docker

1. Docker in Action

Docker in action

This book was written by Jeff who is a world-wide renowned teacher of Docker. He teaches this new platform to almost all the big companies and also speaks at big tech conferences. This book ‘Docker in Action’ is just over 300 pages that will teach you all the concepts revolving around Docker containers. It will give you insights into how Docker works, how to manage/distribute/install containers on various operating systems. Apart from all this, you will also learn different types of security techniques or a typical workflow of Docker.

This book will teach you everything that you should learn to complete master the Docker platform. Apart from explaining all the concepts, it also lets you through all the practicals along with the live examples and working exercises.

With this Docker book, you will not just learn about Docker or how it works but also various ways of using Docker for any given project.

Though this book explains you everything but it majorly focuses on best practices and security techniques of Docker. If you are someone who wants to learn Docker in-depth through practical knowledge then this book is created just for you.

2. Docker in Practice

Docker in practice

Learning with the practical approach is always the best way to grasp maximum knowledge then just theories. ‘Docker in Practice’ provides 100s of lessons that are presented in the problem and solution paradigm that will help you in understand and learn Docker in simple ways. If you are the one who loves exploring problems and finding their solution, then you will be going to love this book. It gives you insights into various problems of Docker and helps you solve those using 3rd party extensions and Docker’s min components.

All the problems listed in this book range from configuration issues and basic containers to complex projects involving single page web apps, microservices and distributed deployment. As you progress, you will explore more about DevOps topics on automation and continuous delivery, and this is exactly where this book truly shines over any other available book. It is one of the best tools currently present in a workflow of server automation.

Another advantage of this book is that it comes in both print + digital version and has around 400 pages that will help you cover everything about Docker. It is written excellently with accurate information on each concept. For me, it is currently one of the best books for learning all the technicality of the Docker through exercises.

However, it teaches you in a problem and solution form, you won’t be able to taste all the beginner level learning experiences. It is one of the best books to learn Docker but it will be better if you are starting with this book with some knowledge regarding this technology under your belt.

3. The Docker Book: Containerization is the New Virtualization

The Docker Book- Containerization is the New Virtualization

This book is 268 pages long and includes all the live tutorials and demos which makes it a perfect book for any beginners who are looking to learn Docker. It unfolds with the first chapter teaching you the importance of Docker, who this book is made for i.e. DevOps, sysadmins and web developers, and then why you should use Docker?

This book helps you from the very scratch by teaching you how to install Docker then gives you an overview of its setup on any system, its configuration or local projects.  Later, you will learn how to work with each of the primary components of Docker.

Learning about extending Docker, working on top of the Docker API, managing and deploying containers and other essential concepts are all explained. Once you are done with all these, building new projects and handling updates for live deployment will become very easy for you. If you are new to Docker with zero knowledge of where to start, then you will find this simple yet nuanced walkthrough very impressive.

4. Learning Docker

learning docker

Many believe that Docker is more important for DevOps people and system administrators, however, it can also play a crucial part for all the web developers in modern web development. If you are someone having the background of a web developer then ‘Learning Docker’ can be the book for your perfect start.

It explains Docker from the perspective of a developer who is more into deployment and web servers but does not have any idea about the working of Docker and why it is so important. It unfolds with the insights into the Docker engine, basics of container and images, and the importance of Linux administration. The author of this book did a great job by explaining each of the commands of Docker in great detail by using real-life examples that you can practice.

Upon completing this book, you’ll be more comfortable deploying new projects, running services in a container and debugging your Docker containers. It is an important book for all those who possess a development background and want to use or implement Docker into their projects.

Read More: Decoding the Science Behind DevOps

5. Using Docker: Developing and Deploying Software with Containers

Using Docker- Developing and Deploying Software with Containers

It is another brilliant book written by Adrian Mouat. It is a book written for you if you do not know the purpose of Docker and you have zero motivation for learning it. The author of ‘Using Docker’ takes this idea and forces it into the limelight by first teaching you all the importance of Docker and how the container works. All this makes “Using Docker” an ultimate resource to learn Docker without any difficulties.

This book includes technical workflows and examples that will help you learning and understanding how Docker can fit into your projects. After this, you will get to all the practical examples that will give you insights into its set up and configuration of Docker containers.

All the chapters revolving around deployments are in detailed and essential for you to learn in this modern era. You can also implement continuous deployment to push new changes live all time in case if you are regularly making testing and updates.

This book also comes with various tips and tricks for logging, debugging and other complex configurations for heavier applications. All and all, it is a great book for all the beginners as well as intermediate level users who are looking to explore Docker in more detail.

6. Docker: Up & Running

Docker up & running

When it comes to the IT or any tech field, then practical tutorials become very important for efficient and effective learning. This book helps you in exploring the practical side o Docker by teaching how to package any apps and then how to maintain internal dependencies. This process includes how to maintain an environment for your application that is consistent, deploying, local testing along with scaling for projects that are large-server intensives.

Both of its authors work at New Relic and possess real experience working in DevOps/sysadmin environment. With the aim of teaching Docker from a practical perspective, it does a great job by helping you apply all the knowledge that you gained from this Docker book into your own projects.

If you are someone who wants to explore Linux admin for larger server applications or websites then this book will meet all your learning needs. Moreover, ‘Docker: Up & Running’ covers security and debugging in great detail which is a great advantage of starting this book.

7. Monitoring Docker

monitoring docker

The majority of the time, a software developer requires to maintain the status quo while running a server. Whenever any problem arises, developers are required to fix them and provide an update so that the problem doesn’t go any further.

This book is authored by Russ McKendrick who will teach you to maintain tracking that is built-in Docker-based systems. Originally, Docker has various native tools that assist you in keeping track of the performance, however, there are several third-party tools like cAdvisor that you can use by plugging into the workflow of the Docker for better metrics analytics.

When it comes to this book, it will give you insights into ways of monitoring for all types of security breaches and issues with the resources within a Docker. ‘Monitoring Docker’ will help you learn how to work with cloud-based solutions made for containerized platforms and Docker extensions.

Before beginning with this book, I’ll recommend you to first understand all the basics of Docker and have a clear understanding of the workflow. This book is created specifically for intermediate to advanced level Docker users who want to improve their workflow related to maintenance and tracking across different projects.

8. Developing with Docker

developing with docker

With time, you will find that the majority of the developers are moving into server management with Docker and ‘Developing with Docker’ is one exclusive book that is helping to bridge all the knowledge and skill gap. \

If you are the one who is already into the building and developing web applications then you have all the knowledge required to begin with this book. It unfolds with the basics of Docker that will help you understand all the technical terms for each step of the process. It involves testing, packaging, scaling and shipping.

It will be a plus point for you if you already possess some knowledge regarding the command line and Linux. Even if you don’t have enough knowledge then don’t worry, it includes sufficient information to give you an overall understanding. It is over 320 pages and helps you in learning Docker effectively.

In case, if you are not looking forward to use Docker in your professional life, then also it will be a fantastic book for you. A majority of its topics are simple and to the point. Literally, it will help you learn all the fundamentals of Docker without taking you into all the super-advanced tough concepts such as deployment at scale.

9. Mastering Docker

Mastering docker

Anything that says ‘Mastering’ in this digital world often makes me skeptical about it, but when it comes to this book, it is worth your consideration. It is written by Scott Gallagher and is not a super-advanced guide for high-level Docker applications.

Rather, it covers all the features of Docker along with complex setups such as merging Docker with other programs like Vagrant or automated server creation. Apart from this, it will also teach you different security techniques that are aimed at large-scale enterprise platforms.

The author, Scott will help you in understanding multiple ways of creating a Docker environment with Docker compose, and you can manage these environments via local servers, cloud networks like AWS and distributed server clusters. As the book title suggests that it is an advanced book, I’ll rather prefer it as a perfect fit for an intermediate level.

With the basic knowledge of Docker working, you can begin with this book or learning all the techniques. However, since this book explains thousands of solutions for all the problems, I’ll say that you might find it a bit scattered. If you are looking to have a bigger view of Docker, then this book might be a good option for you. But I’ll advise to refrain from its use if you are just looking for basic day-to-day applications or operations.

10. Docker Cookbook

docker cookbook

Cookbooks are already very popular among programmers. Despite this, I have found out that not all Cookbooks are effective. However, a majority of the time you will find programming Cookbooks more better than service cookbooks. But when it comes to Docker, this Cookbook by O’Reilly does its job by helping you to learn Docker effectively. It is an immensely valuable book for all the admins who work with the Docker on a regular basis.

This Docker Cookbook has over 360 pages comprising of more than 130 recipes that will help you to understand and learn Docker. All its recipes help you solve every day Docker tasks & problems. Each of the recipes is detailed and includes all the common pitfalls along with explanations for complicated concepts.

Majorly, you will learn about advanced concepts & techniques of Docker involving distributed containers, network across multiple hosts, mounting data across multiple servers, detailed monitoring, accessing Docker within the cloud and merging with different platforms like Kubernetes.

It is obvious that this book is not an ideal fit for beginners since it covers some of the most advanced topics related to package/server management by giving you in-depth insights into each one. If you are the one who is already adept at Docker and looking to up your knowledge or searching a reference then this book will be a perfect choice. Having so many recipes covering various solutions to some of the common problems of Docker, I don’t think you will find any better book than this one for complete learning.

Final Words!

In this article, we started with some of the best Docker books currently present to learn Docker. These Docker books were ideal for all levels including beginner, intermediate as well as advanced level. With all the books listed above, I can guarantee that everyone can find something for upping their existing skills by learning Docker.

And if you are still doubtful about starting with Docker then I must tell you that already, container management and deployment are becoming a norm for all the developers. If you have the time and will to learn something new then considering all the trends, I’ll highly recommend you to explore & learn Docker. It is true that it won’t be easy but when it comes to real-life and your future in ‘development’, trust me, it will be worth everything.

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