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A Beginner’s Guide to Docker

Optimise application developments, builds, and modifications by learning to work within Docker containers.

A man working on his computer with code surrounding him.

Learn containerisation applications within Docker

Docker allows developers to build, deploy, and manage containers, and has become increasingly popular with companies relying on cloud-based development.

On this course, you’ll be guided through the fundamentals of Docker, learning how to use commands and operations to improve efficiency within your containerised projects.

Gain the skills needed for a career in sysadmin or software development

With millions of software developers using containerised applications around the world, a working knowledge of Docker is critical if you want to kickstart your career in the development sector.

Through hands-on labs, you’ll learn the real-world applications of this knowledge and gain practical skills that can be used to demonstrate your technical savvy to prospective employers.

Explore key Docker commands through interactive labs

Containerisation continues to grow in popularity due to its ability to provide the functionality of virtual machines, such as scalability and application isolation, with the added benefits of improving productivity and efficiency.

You’ll investigate core Docker functions including run, images, registry, and networking, allowing you to identify optimisation opportunities within your own organisation and more widely.

With quizzes at the end of each section, you’ll ensure your understanding of each function before moving on to more complex ideas.

Discover container orchestration tools including Docker Swarm and Kubernetes

Using your knowledge of individual functions within Docker, you’ll then learn how to automate processes within deployment, scaling, networking, and more.

By the end of this course you’ll be able to identify the advantages of containerised applications and be able to demonstrate how to work within Docker to optimise a container’s lifecycle.

Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds SPEAKER: Don’t know what a Docker is? Dive right in and build applications in Docker. Now, you can learn the basic skills you need in just two weeks. Mumshad Mannambeth, DevOps and cloud trainer uses his expertise to guide you through this two-week course. The course will enable you to set up Docker, create a Docker container and image, run Docker Compose, and automate with container orchestration when running more complex applications. Learn Docker wherever and whenever you want. Step into your future with a beginner’s guide to Docker from Packt and FutureLearn.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to Docker

    • Introduction to the course

      Welcome to A Beginner’s Guide to Docker and the start of your learning journey, brought to you by Packt.

    • What is Docker?

      In this activity, we will introduce some of the basic concepts in Docker, including installing Docker and creating a Container, basic commands and creating Docker images.

    • Docker basics

      In this activity, we will explore key basic concepts in working with Docker, beginning with basic Docker commands.

    • Docker run

      In this activity, we will work with more Docker commands and explore more advanced concepts in Docker.

    • Docker images

      In this activity, we will discuss Docker images and how to create a new Docker image using the run commands.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of Week 1. In this activity, you'll reflect on what you have learned.

  • Week 2

    Docker: advanced concepts

    • Introduction to Week 2

      Welcome to Week 2. In this activity we'll highlight the main topics that will be covered this week.

    • Docker Compose

      In this activity, we will learn more about building and deploying applications in Docker with Docker Compose and other Docker features by looking at an example application.

    • Docker’s advanced features

      In this activity, we will learn more about the Docker registry and engine, as well as data storage in Docker.

    • Docker on Windows and Mac

      In this activity, we will learn how to run Docker on Windows and Mac.

    • Container orchestration

      In this activity, we will learn about Container orchestration with Docker Swarm and Kubernetes.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of Week 2. In this activity, you'll reflect on what you have learned.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the process of setting up Docker.
  • Create a Docker Container.
  • Create a Docker image.
  • Demonstrate how to run Docker Compose.
  • Describe Container orchestration for running more complex applications.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for software developers and system admins who want to improve their software development life cycles by furthering their understanding of containerised applications.

What software or tools do you need?

You’ll need to install Docker Community Edition on a Windows, MacOS or Linux system. If you’re using a MacOS or Windows system, you may also need to instal a Linux virtual machine, or Docker Desktop for Windows or Mac.

We’ll show you on the course how to install and run the Docker tools.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 2004 in Birmingham, UK, Packt’s mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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