Is Docker Meeting Its Promises Made Last Year?
Docker recently came up with a plan for developing its platform to help developers become more efficient in their work. The company’s product development sector promises that everything from cloud runtime to managing source code will be the focus of CEO Scott Johnston and the rest of his team over the coming year. We’ve been hearing this story for months now, ever since Docker’s change of scenery at the end of last year, but it seems like now we’re getting some more specific detail on the direction of the company and what it hopes to achieve.
Docker’s 2019 Promises
The plan comes four months after Docker sold its Docker Enterprise Technology Platform to Mirantis. The company made most of these promises back in November 2019, to advance developer workflows and give developers more choices in designing modern, functional apps. Back then, Docker proposed a three-part structure for its “Road Ahead” plan: Build, Share and Run.
Build covered the growing complexities of container composition, serverless functions and cloud services. The company promised expanded functionality for its existing tools to meet with the growing demand among developers for dedicated, functional design. Share was Docker’s term for streamlining developers’ interactions with Docker Hub and Docker Desktop. Both of these have received their fair share of attention, especially Docker Hub, which is perhaps the industry favorite for container technology and app development. However, Docker found that the explosion in app packaging formats risked slowing down developers rather than amplifying their workflow, so the company committed to using Docker Desktop and Docker Hub to connect developers more directly to tools that worked for them. The company’s final goal, Run, encompasses helping developers to put their projects into action without compromising the portability of their apps or their infrastructure.
Docker’s 2020 Promises
How does this match up to Docker’s recent announcements? First of all, the company has abandoned its goal titles, but the content of its initiatives is still on track, especially with regards to Share—namely, its attention to Docker Desktop and Docker Hub.
Thankfully, the announcement early last month is lighter on the marketing speak and a few more specific initiatives and goals, though we may have to wait for more concrete announcements of features and expanded services. The company promised that Docker Desktop will be expanded to help new developers onboard with container development, workflow and team processing, with team collaboration as another key aim. How is Docker going to do this? Apparently by providing more features, though the company has yet to announce exactly what those services are.
As for Docker Hub, Docker aims to make it “more than just a registry.” It hopes to achieve this in two main ways: by expanding the service to aid the management of application components, from containers to lineage to metadata and more, and by centering Docker Hub in its service offerings (aka “ecosystem of tools”). In practice, it appears this means that Docker Hub will be the overworld from which you can explore other options in terms of partners, collaborations, high abstraction and opinions. The company has yet to announce who these partners are, but are convinced they’ll be applicable to all skill ranges and hierarchy levels.
Perhaps the biggest (and most practical) announcement here is the public road map, currently available on GitHub. This forms part of Docker’s aim to collaborate with developers and its commitment to transparency and open source. Another part of this goal was signing on to do a Reddit AMA at the end of March.
While we’re still waiting for some more concrete announcements on how these goals work in practice, the two announcements seem to show that Docker is still on track to expand its services in new and exciting ways this year. Hopefully, by committing to open source and user collaboration, any new developments will be user-focused and practical, in line with its Share and Run goals announced at the end of last year.
What’s certain is Docker is not trying to revolutionize here. Its services are already incredibly popular among developers the world over, and the company’s reliance on partnerships and API has not failed it in the past. This year, Docker will keep doing what it does best: satisfying tens of thousands of Docker Hub customers.