DockerCon EU 2018 Review

First up I need to thank my manager Adam Comerford @RiotGames for making it possible for me to visit DockerCon EU 2018 in Barcelona. It’s been a busy few days filled with new connections, new ideas, new innovators and a renewed passion for Docker Swarm.

Disclaimer : Although I’m a Docker Captain and Organizer I have no inside information with regards to product roadmaps etc. I know surprisingly little.

Disclaimer Part 2 : I actually missed Day 2 of DockerCon. Why? That’s another blog post on it’s own. I’m piecing some of this post together from tweets :) Enjoy.

The Secret Is Out

This was my 7th DockerCon and the first time bringing the family with me. Over the years my wonderful wife has become increasingly suspicious of DockerCon. In the weeks leading up to DockerCon, and the days following, I’d be roaming the house “like a giddy child” in a toy store. Why so excited? Excited to hear about what Docker has lined up for the community, excited to start playing about with new tech and excited to catch up with fellow Docker Captains and hear about what they have been working on. I wanted to share some of this excitement with the family.

Renata and Ryans 1st DockerCon

Announcements (no particular order)

Docker Desktop Enterprise : Fairly self explanatory. Managed Docker Desktop. Solves an immediate real world problem which is likely causing developer and operator pain. No mention of Docker Desktop for Linux but fingers are crossed.

Docker Assemble (Enterprise) : Sits on top of buildKit and does some cool auto-detection at build time to determine tooling versions, dependencies etc. It’s like Docker Build on steroids.

Docker App : Makes your compose applications reusable and sharable. Also supports the newly announced Cloud Native Application Bundle format. Righting the wrongs of .dab. Personally found .dab files to be really handy. Pour one out for .dab. Welcome to the party .cnab.

*Not an actual CNAB

Compose on Kubernetes : Still not entirely clear if this is available to Linux users. Will update this section when it becomes clear. There is a nice “Getting Started” section in the repo. Take it for a spin. Feedback welcome.

Docker Captains Summit

Red? Did you not get the memo?

Every year before DockerCon the Captains have a summit to re-engage with each other. Some of the Captains are also Community Organizers and were at the Organizer Summit when this photo was taken. It’s an absolute honor and pleasure to be part of this group. As we each stand up and talk about what we are working on it’s just jaw-dropping at the amount of work this group puts into growing the Docker Community. Jaw-dropping. Imposter Syndrome is real and as folks describe how they are literally trying to change the world with containers I often feel out of place but 5 years in that’s exactly where I want to be. Learning from the best in the industry.

Stand Out Keynote Moments

One of the highlights of DockerCon was seeing “the nicest guy in containers” demo during the Day One Keynote. Elton Stoneman and Lee Namba modernizing a traditional app whilst dramatically increasing Notepad usage numbers. If you see a workshop in a town near you hosted by Elton then sign up now.

Look serious Elton …

Other Keynote highlights include appearances from Betty Junod and Jenny Burcio. Two of the hardest working women at Docker on stage to announce innovation award winners was long overdue. Congratulations to Ashlynn Polini on organizing another successful DockerCon!!

Desigual Innovation Award Winners

Bonus Content

Was there a new Docker Swarm logo announced during the Day One Keynote? If this was an easter egg then kudos to the Docker folks. If anyone wants to ping a screencap of the logo to @tomwillfixit on Twitter that would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Bret Fishers hack to deploy plugins across a Docker Swarm was delightfully simple and yet “it just works”. Bret’s talk has re-ignited a previous passion held for Swarm. Simple, powerful and thoughtfully designed. Also heard some numbers which allayed fears of whether Swarm is suitable for large scale deployments.

The following is my own personal opinion : Swarm is suitable for many cases in which Kubernetes is being adopted and in the next 2 years we will see a swing back towards less complex container orchestrators such as Swarm, Nomad and <insert new orchestrator here>. Nothing against Kubernetes, it is fantastic in what it does, but may be overkill in some cases and add unnecessary complexity. Complexity makes money. KISS (Keep it simple Swarm)


As Jérôme Petazzoni accurately pointed out, it’s not the talks that make the conference. It’s the people you meet, the connections and the deep engagement with innovators from diverse backgrounds. This is where the value lies. The constant within DockerCon is the sense of community. Sponsors, speakers and swag will come and go. The community is the source of Dockers success and regardless of your background, level of expertise or opinions you are always welcome to join.

Tom Shaw (@tomwillfixit, @DockerDublin, @DandIManifesto)

All Dockered out …

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