Containers and Docker transformed testing and software engineering over the last several years, but with Docker representing 83% of containers in use in 2018 (vs 99% in 2019), what could that mean for job seekers and employers?
According to Indeed Prime data, since 2014, job postings asking for Docker skills increased by a staggering 9,538.23%. But there’s a major gap between what employers need, and what job seekers are interested in. In that same period of time, people searching for roles that require Docker skills increased by “only” 1,366.40%.
Not only is there a sizeable gap between Docker supply and demand, but that gap continues to widen. Below, we talk about how (and where) you can leverage the gap in employer demand and job seeker interest to land your next role, including why tech workers may be losing interest in Docker and the roles and companies that need Docker skills the most.
Docker demand heats up, while job seeker interest goes cold
Our data shows that employers are hungry for Docker skills — and this demand has been growing steadily since 2014. Docker job openings increased by 49.24% between March 2018 and March 2019 alone.
But despite increasing employer demand, engineers aren’t actively seeking Docker opportunities. The number of searches for Docker jobs decreased by 43.71% from March 2018 to March 2019, which is in stark contrast to the previous year when Docker job searches spiked, increasing by 56.41%.
So why does employer demand outweigh job seeker interest? And why is job seeker interest on the decline? There are a few possibilities.
Baked-in support for Kubernetes
So, why did searches for Docker roles spike dramatically in October 2017? That’s when Docker announced it was building in native support for Kuburnetes, a rival to Docker’s own Swarm orchestration tool, which makes it easier for software developers to deploy thousands (or millions) of containers.
By adding seamless Kubernetes integration, Docker effectively banded together with one of its competitors to become a more flexible container management platform, appealing to both developers and companies who wanted to use Kubernetes with Docker, but previously couldn’t.
There are plenty more whales in the sea
Docker was a pioneer in container tech. But since its release in 2013, the platform has seen a steady stream of competitors, all vying for the attention of software developers, DevOps engineers and other tech professionals. From Kubernetes to Apache Mesos to Vagrant to Rancher, Docker isn’t the only container option available anymore.
Vulnerability to hackers
We see job seeker interest go down in early-to-mid 2018, right around the time Docker started experiencing security issues. In June 2018, the Docker team pulled 17 malicious Docker images from the platform’s image repository. The malicious content ended up earning hackers $90,000 in bitcoin (which was itself losing its luster among job seekers).
Not only that, but in the early part of 2019, a security breach in the Docker Hub database exposed the data of 190K+ users.
Despite these security concerns, employer demand has never wavered. This may be due in part to the fact that software running in containers is still more secure than software that doesn’t.
Cloud-native is the way forward
More and more companies are adopting cloud-native technologies — and Docker is the de facto standard for building, shipping and running any app in any computing environment, including the cloud.
In fact, at the end of 2018, Docker announced the Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB), a project in collaboration with Microsoft, which is used for packaging and running distributed apps. This may explain why employer interest surged at the beginning of 2019.
Top 5 Docker roles to apply for
Want to take advantage of the increased demand for Docker? Here are the tech roles that require Docker skills most often, according to job postings on Indeed:
Topping the list are DevOps engineers, who break down communication barriers between development, release and ops teams to deliver software faster and more frequently. From automating large-scale enterprise systems to building and simplifying deployment pipelines with Docker, DevOps engineers make it possible to deploy hundreds of times per day — instead of every few days or months.
Average yearly salary: $119,552
Typical job requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a technical field, plus experience building containers with Docker, Vagrant and/or Kubernetes and working with CI/CD tools (e.g., Ansible, Chef, Puppet) and scripting languages like PowerShell, Ruby or Perl.
Software engineer / senior software engineer
In this role, you’ll use Docker to package up the whole stack (such as an app’s libraries, frameworks and the code itself), and ship it as one single package — without having to worry about whether or not each individual component will run in different environments. Software engineers in nearly every industry, from finance to education, use Docker to deploy apps quicker and more reliably.
Software architects who focus on DevOps leverage their experience in configuration, automation and operations to re-define architectures, build communication channels and make high-level design choices. In this role, you’ll also influence the architecture of new features, drive automation and design creative solutions to move data to the cloud.
Average yearly salary: $141,965
Typical job requirements: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or engineering, 5+ years as a software or DevOps engineer designing and building distributed software apps and experience implementing modern cloud microservices architectures.
Full stack developer
In this role, you’ll incorporate Docker into the development mix to accelerate the production, testing and deployment of applications. While Docker is not always a required skill for full stack developers, it’s a skill that will improve your development workflow and help you stand out to employers looking to push apps to production faster.
Average yearly salary: $110,848
Typical job requirements: A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, plus experience with the full stack: databases, back-end languages, front-end technologies, web services and basic design skills.
As a cloud engineer, you’ll leverage Docker and other tools to manage, automate, scale and monitor solutions in the cloud. You’ll also get to brainstorm innovative ways to improve the reliability and performance of container orchestration platforms like Docker and Kubernetes.
Average yearly salary: $118,365
Typical job requirements: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or a related field, plus experience building cloud infrastructures and microservices with AWS or Azure, skills in Scala, Java or Python, and knowledge of container technologies.
Jumpstart your search: Our guide to the top skills, cities and interview questions for cloud engineers.
Companies hiring the most for Docker roles
With employer interest continuing to grow, we looked at which US employers have the most job postings requiring Docker skills. Below are three companies using Docker in production to revolutionize their development process:
Capital One’s applications handle millions of transactions per day, which means a quick time-to-market is essential — especially when it comes to releasing new features that combat fraud threats. As the first American bank to adopt a cloud-first approach, it’s also a leader in tech innovations.
In fact, Capital One recently released its own container orchestration platform, Critical Stack, to the public. The platform, which is compatible with Kubernetes, was previously used internally to manage cloud infrastructure, including microservices and containers. And even though this means Capital One is moving away from Docker, the company is still looking for talent with core Docker skills to add speed and flexibility to its app delivery and further build upon Critical Stack.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Booz Allen Hamilton is pioneering a “dockerized,” cloud-first government and leading the way in government digital transformation. Its Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) Program, a joint effort with Docker, is helping government organizations containerize their legacy applications. Plus, Booz Allen’s CodeLift tool gives clients the ability to create and deploy container apps with Docker quickly and easily.
Beyond innovations in container tech, employees rave about the inclusive company culture. “Booz Allen is very diverse,” says one employee, “And I’ve been really impressed by the number of women in leadership positions. Working as an engineer in Defense and Aerospace, I’ve had very few female colleagues or bosses at other companies.”
IBM was the first enterprise company to form a strategic partnership with Docker back in 2014 — and it’s been making major waves with containerized applications ever since. Docker Enterprise Edition (Docker EE) for IBM Cloud, for instance, gives its customers the power to shift existing apps to the cloud and rapidly deploy containerized apps with add-ons like IBM Watson, IoT and blockchain.
One software engineer says they “loved working on new technologies with smart and experienced people.” Another notes IBM’s “highly collaborative and innovative culture [where] you are surrounded by talented people who are also nice to work with.”
Methodology: Indeed analyzed the percentage change in the share of job postings with Docker skills in the job posting and the share of job searches per million for Docker from March 2014 to March 2019.
Who’s Searching and Hiring for Docker Jobs in 2019? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.