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Working at Docker

Docker drives modern software development by making it easy to adopt container technology to radically boost productivity, security, testing, and collaboration at every step of the developer experience. Embraced by more than 20 million developers worldwide, Docker's unmatched flexibility and choice make it the preferred tool for developers seeking efficiency and innovation for creating modern applications.

Tech stack


How engineering works at Docker

How are the teams structured?

We follow the methodologies outlined in Team Topologies. Most of the teams are stream-aligned and autonomous, including an engineering manager, product manager, product designer, and a group of engineers. We also have supporting teams that serve our engineering organization to ensure everyone is working on the problems they like to solve.

What tools do engineers use?

  • Docker!
  • Source Control: GitHub
  • Coding: IDEs - vary by project and personal preference
  • Coding AI: Copilot
  • Chat: Slack
  • Wiki and Knowledge Sharing: Notion

Can developers pick their own tools?

Yes! We're a company that builds tools for developers, so we are very aware of how your toolchain helps or hinders the development experience.

How does the development process work? What's the process for working through bugs, features and tech debt?

Teams are given high-level goals that are refined into OKRs and focus areas. The teams are designed to be autonomous so that they can solve all kinds of problems, from tech debt to product discovery work. What is prioritized is determined as a group effort between both product and engineering team members.

Teams are agile and follow a rough sprint process using either weekly or bi-weekly sprints. We don't have formal rules for how much time is spent on tech debt vs. other work. Instead, we rely on the team leads to work this out. Feature work can come externally from higher-level goals, learnings or ideas that the team has, and from end users.

How does code get reviewed, merged, and deployed?

Development is done in Git branches. Once the code is complete, a PR is opened which triggers CI and it's then reviewed by peers. In open source, this means maintainers of the project and not necessarily someone at Docker.

Deployments depend on the project, but most can be deployed to a staging environment from a feature branch or the main branch. Once the code has been merged, production deployments can be triggered.

For projects like Desktop, there is a lot of custom code to do this as there aren't really off-the-shelf tools for desktop applications.

What is the QA process?

Teams are responsible for their own QA, which is mostly handled by automation. The team that developed the functionality does manual testing to validate new changes and features. We also release early to our own developers so that they can use the latest features and report if they encounter any issues.

What are some recent examples of interesting development challenges solved by internal teams as part of building the product?

We have heard from users that their builds are slower than they'd like and that they find building for multiple architectures (ARM64 and AMD64) difficult. This led us to build the Docker Build Cloud product which hosts BuildKit builders for both architectures in the cloud that can be used either from Docker Desktop or with the Docker CLI anywhere that you use it (GitHub Actions, Jenkins, etc.). It was an interesting challenge because Build Cloud needed to be fast and secure. To make it fast, we needed to get lots of compute very quickly. Meanwhile, Security needed to consider that users can run their own untrusted code on our platform and isolate it from other customers. We put a lot of effort into making it as seamless as possible for users to adopt: It doesn't require big changes to existing tools or pipelines, only a login and setup before the rest of the process runs.

Docker Desktop's testing and deployment tools are quite unique. We support multiple versions of Windows, macOS, and Linux which means that we have a large test matrix. As Docker Desktop runs a VM, we need to test on bare metal or using nested virtualization which makes this much more complicated. We also had to write a lot of our own tools to handle rollouts of Docker Desktop to our users, as there aren't tools available off the shelf to do this.

Docker Hub's scale makes it a continuing engineering challenge. We host over 60PB of images and handle billions of requests per day. It is also a core part of lots of developer and CI workflows which means that its uptime is really important.

How does on-call work?

We have a general tier 1 rotation that includes engineers across the company. We're lucky to be distributed across Europe and the US, giving us wide working hours coverage. If a major incident occurs, we involve the team that owns the service. Newer services have the team that built them on tier 1 on-call.

Hiring process at Docker

How does the application process work? What are the stages and what is the timeline?

This applies to developers who apply to Docker. When we have a new opening, we add it to Our recruiters also look for candidates through channels like LinkedIn and GitHub.

A recruiter first screens the candidate to ensure that the role is a good fit for them, that they are in the right location, etc. If they pass this screening, the hiring manager speaks to them to determine if they are a cultural fit for Docker and if the role is aligned with their interests. Passing this leads to two technical interviews: one focused on coding and the other on architecture. Finally, a senior engineering leader interviews the candidate to check fit.

You can find more information about the application and hiring process here.

What is the career progression framework? How are promotions and performance reviews managed?

We have two parallel tracks: Technical and Management. While we have two official review/promo cycles per year, we are constantly having conversations about career growth and goals and strive to promote employees as they meet their goals. We use a career ladder for each track so both the employee and their manager are aware of expectations and goals.

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