Docker — What is it good for?

Greg L. Turnquist
2 min readDec 23, 2023

Docker is one of most useful technologies to befall continuous integration. Containers empower you to define precisely what tools are available in every stage of your CI pipeline without battling CI configuration stuff.

Consider this: in the olden days, if you wanted a new version of Java, you had to enlist your sys admin to install it into your CI tools. With Docker, you just update the container! (Or bake a new one.)

Of course, this requires a certain trust between you and the sys admin. It’s also advisable to have team agreement on certain things, like consistently using the same Java distribution across your team. Mixing distributions among other things can introduce risk.

But leveraging containers to encapsulate aspects of test infrastructure and putting those container definitions along with your pipelines under source control can wrest control of your entire CI process away from clicky buttons and effectively make it all “code” that is reproducible and much more manageable.

If you are pro coder or aiming to become one, then stay tuned for my next article. In the meantime, go out there and be professional!

— Greg

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Greg L. Turnquist

Sr. Staff Technical Content Engineer at CockroachDB • YouTube Content Creator at • Best-Selling Author • Coffee Lover