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San Francisco startup Docker wants to expand the use of the open-source container technology it created to help developers easily package up their applications and move them over different environments. Today, it revealed a new method for increasing adoption: two-day classes for a pretty penny.

For $1,600, you can attend a class in San Francisco or New York and learn the ins-and-outs of Docker, according to a blog post today from James Turnbull, Docker’s vice president of services and support.

The new program could be just the thing to capture engagement among people who have until now sat on the fence when it comes to learning Docker containers, which could end up becoming a supplement to virtual machines for running multiple applications on a single physical server. In essence, then, Docker could be on a journey similar to VMware’s at the turn of the century, when it came out with virtual-machine technology. One difference: Docker’s technology is available for free under an open-source license. VMware’s hypervisor tooling for running virtual machines is proprietary.

Of course, some developers might be surprised to see Docker offering classes for more than $1,000 when it’s possible to learn the basics of Docker by taking a free 10-minute tutorial, reading “The Docker Book,” or exploring the Docker repository on GitHub. But in case those options aren’t palatable, now there’s a premium two-day course, too.

Many Bay Area developers and cloud industry spectators already grasp the Docker technology, but there’s room for admins and developers at enterprises to get onboard. Such people might be able to get their bosses to sign off on a quick training session.

And the program fits in with Docker’s strategy for this year. Gaining recognition and usage is critical for the company in order for the company to sell services based around Docker.

“I think I and the management team and the board are all 100 percent in agreement that the focus for this year is not top-line growth,” Docker chief executive Ben Golub told VentureBeat in an interview last week. “We want to establish a revenue model and make sure we have the ability to generate meaningful revenue in 2015. But this year, it’s far more important to make sure we make Docker solid and ubiquitous and build more advanced monitoring, management, and orchestration tools that will drive revenue in 2015.”



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