The DevOps with Docker Course From Finland
Thursday, 07 September 2023

A course by Jami Kousa of University of Helsinki teaches Docker from zero to hero. It's free and self-paced and contains a lot of material you need to work through from start to finish.

This is yet another course coming out of Finland. In the past we had looked at three other such offerings, "Full Stack Open", "Elements of AI" and "Ethics of AI".

The main property you'll find pertaining to all three, is high quality. Why is that? Probably because of Finland's educational system which is famous for three reasons: its pedagogical outlook, its technological excellence and its openness to the world.

As a matter of fact there's a connection between this course and the "Full Stack Open" we covered before, since as of 2022 the course was handed off to Matti Luukkainen, the legendary creator of "Full Stack Open".

The course ran as a MOOC available to Helsinki University's students, but the rest of us can now enjoy the course material as well - but won't be able to claim a certificate or educational credits.

In fact, there's a few MOOC's concerning docker running at Helsinki University:

  • DevOps with Docker (TKT21036)
  • DevOps with Docker: docker-compose (TKT21037)
  • DevOps with Docker: security and optimization (TKT21038)
  • DevOps with Kubernetes (TKT21027)

amd this course is a combination of the first three.

So with the introduction out of the way let's find out what's on offer.

helsinki-devops

Learning objectives:

Part 1: DevOps with Docker (TKT21036)

  • Understand the fundamental concepts of Docker, including images and containers.
  • Learn how to build Docker images for existing projects and run them.
  • Understand how Docker can simplify the development process.

Part 2: DevOps with Docker: docker-compose (TKT21037)

  • Learn how to manage complex multi-container applications with Docker Compose.
  • Understand the role of Docker Compose in container orchestration.
  • Practice deploying and managing real-world applications using Docker Compose.

Part 3: DevOps with Docker: security and optimization (TKT21038)

  • Learn how to optimize Docker images for production, including reducing image size and improving security.
  • Understand the limitations of using Docker Compose in production environments and the need for more advanced orchestration tools.
  • Explore alternative container orchestration solutions, including Kubernetes.

Note that it is designed to be completed sequentially from start to finish, so do not consider skipping sections.
The exercises are designed to reinforce the material covered in each part and are placed at strategic points in the course to ensure that you have learned the necessary skills prior to attempting each exercise. That said no previous devops experience is necessary.

So, Part 1 will cover the concepts of devops before getting started with Docker. In addition you'll learn to :

  • Run containerized applications
  • Containerize applications
  • Utilize volumes to store data persistently outside of the containers.
  • Use port mapping to enable access via TCP to containerized applications
  • Share your own containers publicly


Part 2 introduces container orchestration with Docker Compose and relevant concepts such as docker network. By the end of this part you are able to:

  • Run a group of containerized applications that interact with each other via HTTP
  • Run a group of containerized applications that interact with each other via volumes
  • Manually scale applications
  • Use 3rd party services, such as databases, inside containers as part of your project


Part 3 introduces production-ready practices such as container optimization and deployment pipelines. By the end of this part you are able to:

  • Critically examine the images that you pull
  • Trim the container size and image build time via multiple methods such as multi-stage builds.
  • Automatically deploy containers

All chapters are solely text based, there's no video, no interactive exercises or booting to a remote VM. You have to run docker on your own machine and test everything locally.

In the end, it is a course well worth working your way through. It's well structured, taking you step by step through all the things you need to know from just running container images to ultimately learning how to deploy them.

More Information

DevOps with Docker

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 September 2023 )