July 24, 2017

There’s no question that Docker containers have become extremely popular in a short period of time. But just how quickly has Docker risen to fame? That’s an interesting question to ponder—and one that Google Trends can help to answer.

Docker on Google Trends

If you chart Docker on Google Trends for the period of the past five years, you gain some interesting insight about how quickly has gained mindshare:

Docker Google Trends search results

The chart shows that:

  • The rate of Google searches for Docker is about a magnitude higher today than it was in 2014, when Docker was a new technology.
  • In the past year, the attention Docker gets on Google has approximately doubled.
  • Docker searches are up about 33 percent just since the beginning of this year.

The data from Google suggests that Docker’s rise in popularity not only has been incredibly dramatic, but also continues to rise steadily.

Docker vs. Other Trends

Also revealing is how the popularity of Docker on Google compares to that of other trendy topics.

Take the iPhone, for instance. If you research the frequency of searches for iphone on Google trends over the five-year period starting in early 2008 (about a half-year after the first iPhone was released), you’ll see this chart:

iPhone on Google Trends searches

The iPhone saw a pretty substantial increase in interest, but the climb was slower. It peaked and declined in the fall of 2011, fewer than five years after the iPhone was released.

We can also compare the rate of Docker’s rise in popularity to that of Apache Spark, another major technology platform that emerged in recent years:

Apache Spark on Google Trends search

Spark’s period of massive popularity lasted about a year, then leveled off. Spark did not enjoy steadily increasing interest over a long period of time, as Docker has.

Last but not least, there’s Donald Trump. Interest in Donald Trump among folks on Google rose only slightly in the period after Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States in June 2015. It rose sharply and briefly after he won the election, then went back down.

Donald Trump searches on Google Trends

So, there you have it. Docker has gained mindshare at a much higher rate than Donald Trump.

Conclusion

None of the above means that Docker is more popular than iPhones, Spark or even Donald Trump. It just means that interest in Docker has increased at a much faster rate than it has for these other technologies (or celebrity-politicians).

It’s also important to note that the information above reflects Google search rates rather than a universal metric of interest in a given topic. Google search frequencies aren’t necessarily representative of overall interest in a subject.

Still, the remarkable rate of Docker’s increase in popularity is one factor that sets Docker apart from the rest of the field. Perhaps no other technology has captured so much mindshare in such a short period of time as Docker.

Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi has covered technology and business news for nearly a decade, specializing in open source, containers, big data, networking and security. He is currently Senior Editor and DevOps Analyst with Fixate.io and Sweetcode.io.