Upgrading a Rails Application from 2.3 to 4.2 with Neomind Labs

We recently spoke with Ryan Findley, Principal at Neomind Labs. We worked with his team to execute a Rails upgrade from 2.3 to 4.2 on one of their applications.

Ernesto: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. To start out, what did you like about our Rails upgrade process?

Ryan: Big picture, it was great that you guys handled the upgrade. Doing something like this in-house, there can be a lot of back and forth, especially when you are dealing with upgrading an old version of Rails. There can be a lot of “what should we do in this case” and “what should we replace this code with”, and these decisions can take up a lot of time.

Ernesto: Definitely. The experience of having done so many Rails upgrades in the past gives us a clearer path to follow for each version we upgrade. I think these decisions are more familiar to us and this lets us work more efficiently.

Ryan: Yes, the great thing for me was that you guys made those decisions. You checked in with us when, for example, there was a case with more than one option. You recommended the option you thought was best but left the final say to our team. It was great to feel like you guys had done your research and had an opinion, and in most cases your opinion matched ours. It made the process easy.

Ernesto: Great. Now in terms of responsiveness, did you think that our communication during the project was successful or is there something you would have done differently?

Ryan: I was pretty happy with communication, we generally used Slack. The project didn’t have a hard deadline in place, and the project ended up taking a bit more time than anticipated. You mentioned to us that the project would run late, which was super helpful and we appreciated that your team was managing deadlines and keeping us informed. It gave me confidence that you were proactive and communicating.

Ernesto: Yeah, it is really frustrating when I have a contractor and they come to me the last day at the last hour and say, “Look, actually we are not going to make it.” We try not to do that with our clients, so as soon as we know we are not going to meet a deadline, we tell the client even if it makes us look bad.

Ryan: Yeah, that happens a lot in our field.

Ernesto: Okay, and lastly, on a scale from 1-10, how much would you like to work with us again?

Ryan: I think that for the right project, I would say a 10.

For more information about upgrading your Rails application, check out our "Upgrade Rails Series", a series of do-it-yourself guides to upgrading Rails.