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Mohammad-Ali A'RÂBI for Docker

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How to Become a Docker Captain

I become a Docker Captain in early 2023. As Docker's official website mentions,

Docker Captains are Docker experts and leaders in their communities who are passionate about sharing their Docker knowledge with others. Being a Docker Captain is about helping other people learn about Docker, building the Docker community, and advancing their own expertise with Docker.

What follows is my journey to become a Docker Captain.

1. Learn Docker

I learned Docker in 2015 when it was only 2 years old. I was trying to run the tests of the Python project I was working on.
I couldn't manage to install the dependencies correctly, so my colleague said "Why don't you use Docker?".
The tests were running on our GitLab-CI server using Docker. If it was running there, it should run on my machine too.

Two weeks later I was advocating Docker to my colleagues, setting up CI pipelines, and writing Dockerfiles.

2. Write about Docker

I started blogging on Medium in 2018. From March 2022 I started writing a Medium article every week. I later called the
series Git Weekly, but was also writing about Docker. By March 2023 I had written almost 35 Medium articles, 3 of which were
about Docker.

Additionally, I had 2 articles published on Docker's official blog, and 1 under review.

I remember every Sunday I was going to my favorite cafe, ordering a caffè mocha, and writing a Medium article. There
are so much to say, I never ran out of ideas. Every time I had faced an issue during my work, I would take a note and
write about it later.

mochaccino with laptop

3. Build a Docker community

As I was passionate about Docker, I was looking for a community to join. I learned that the closest Docker meetup was
in Zurich, Switzerland. I live in Freiburg, Germany, which is 2 hours away from Zurich. The meetup group was not really
active, as it was COVID time, so I contacted Docker and asked if I could organize a virtual meetup within that group.
Later, I asked to create a new meetup group for Freiburg, and they accepted. Hence I officially became a Docker Community Leader.
That's a title you get when you organize a Docker meetup group.

As I was in touch with Docker, my first point of contact, Ajeet Singh Raina, suggested me to write an article for Docker's
official blog. That was because I was active on Medium at the time. And this is how I got my first article published on
Docker's official blog.

The first in-person meetup I organized was in September 2022. It was a Docker Community All Hands watching party, and
I had a talk in that All Hands event. I also had my first blog post published on Docker's blog. So, I was rewarded the
Docker Community Leader award. The following video shows Alba Roza, the Docker Community Manager, announcing my award.

By now, I have organized 7 in-person meetups, and 3 virtual ones.

4. Speak at Docker events

By March 2023 I had spoken at 2 Docker Community All Hands events and a few meetups. After becoming a Docker Captain in 2023,
my speaking opportunities increased. I was invited to speak at a Docker meetup in Atlanta, USA, a conference in Amsterdam,
Netherlands, and a live stream that was watched by 500 people. As a Captain, I was also invited to DockerCon 2023, but couldn't make
it due to visa complications (I'm still waiting for my visa to be approved).

5. Contribute to Docker

Even before becoming a Docker Captain, I was doing produce interviews with Docker employee. As an active community
member and old Docker user, they were interested in my feedback on their newest features and products. Also, a Docker
employee contacted me to provide more details as I had written a blog post about their new product.


When I applied to become a Docker Captain in early 2023, I was already doing all the things mentioned above. And many
people in the Docker community knew me. I was also active on Twitter, and had some 500 followers. Eva Bojorges, the
Captains Program Manager, knew me well and said I received blessings from a few Docker employees.

A few weeks back I talked about my experiences as a Docker Captain in an interview with Pradumna Saraf that is now
available on YouTube.

Final words

I hope this article helps you to become a Docker Captain. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on
Twitter or LinkedIn.

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