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Using Docker containers to setup/configure a developer's workstation?

(Benze) #1

I’m investigating the possibilities of using Docker to standardize the developers’ java workstation configuration. The concept being that a new dev starting on the team can quickly and easily be up and running with all tools needed to develop/build and deploy.

I understand the attraction of using Docker in a build pipeline, an even in a production environment, but am having difficulty seeing if it is useful as a tool in a dev workstation.

For example, having a docker container with Eclipse setup and configured with the necessary plugins (and build tools - ex: maven, ant, etc), a container for the DB, a container for the Application server.

Of course, I can foresee additional complexity with someone trying to edit code in Eclipse and wanting to hotswap the code in the app server if the app server is in a different container.

Finally, developer workstations are currently Win7x64. Win10 is in the pipeline, but not for the next 6months.

Is there a way to successfully deploy container-based environments like this? Is there even value in using container technology for something like this? Or is the better approach to use configuration tools (Ansible, etc) to auto-configure the user’s workstation with all the local tools/software required?