Book Review: The Docker Book

The Docker Book


James Turnbull

My Rating

star star star star

Docker is an exciting new technology that is like virtualisation only a million times better… if you’re deploying to Linux. Instead of virtualisation, we refer to Docker as containerization.

If you want your local development environment to be closer to your production environment - use Docker. If you want virtualisation without all of the hypervisor overhead - use Docker. If you want a simplified build and deployment pipeline - use Docker. If you work in software development - learn about Docker.

Now we’ve established you want to learn about Docker, I recommend you browse the official website and consider buying a book. "The Docker Book" is the only Docker book available, but it is very accessible for beginners.

You can easily read "The Docker Book" in a weekend and be fully capable of doing advanced things with Docker by 9am on Monday morning.


"The Docker Book" is mostly just examples, from setting up local dev environments to setting up CI environments.

Whilst the Book is relatively short, you can definitely tell that James Turnbull has put a lot of effort into relevant examples that both demonstrate important Docker use-cases well and are very easy to follow, understand, and replicate at home.

The short examples are like terse programming - you can learn a lot without having to spend any more time than is necessary.

In addition to the examples, James does interleave theory so that you are able to understand and appreciate exactly what Docker is, how it works, and how it is going to make software development even easier.

Fair Writing Standard

James chooses to use an informal writing style, often referring to "us" and "we". Personally, I feel third-person makes for easier to follow technical writing, except for short blog posts (and book reviews like this :) ).

Third-person is just my preference, though. Apart from that, I like how James uses plain-English and jargon-free tech speak. So all these points considered, I would definitely recommend the "The Docker Book" as a solid beginner’s resource.

Note: It appears the book isn’t complete and James Turnbull is continuing to release updates and additions.

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