Articles by Gelsey Torres

Unlocking Value with Bonsai: A Month in Technical Debt Remediation

Managing technical debt is a huge concern for businesses of all sizes. At, we understand the challenges of maintaining a healthy codebase while continuously delivering value to your users. That’s why we’ve introduced Bonsai, our fixed-cost, monthly maintenance service tailored to gradually alleviate technical debt. Join us as we take a deep dive into the value Bonsai brings to the table over the course of a month.

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An Introduction to Software Quality (Part 2): What Is Technical Debt?

Technical debt, a term coined by Ward Cunningham in the 1990s, refers to the trade-off between short-term gains and long-term consequences in the development process. In this article, we will explore what technical debt is, why it happens, why you should care about it, and discover some new tools to help you discover the technical debt in your Rails applications.

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Can You Upgrade Rails in Increments?

Ruby on Rails is a powerful web application framework that has evolved over the years, with new versions bringing in features, improvements, and security updates. As your application matures, keeping it up-to-date with the latest Rails version becomes crucial. However, the prospect of upgrading an entire Rails application can be daunting. In this blog post, we’ll explore whether it’s possible to upgrade your Rails application in increments and how to go about it.

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How To Delay A Rails Upgrade

Maintaining an up-to-date Ruby on Rails application is crucial for performance, security, and feature enhancements. However, finding the time for a full-scale upgrade can be challenging. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical steps you can take to delay a Rails upgrade when you don’t have the immediate bandwidth but want to set the stage for a seamless process in the future.

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How to use Brakeman to find Rails security vulnerabilities

Security is a huge concern for web applications. To protect your Rails app from potential vulnerabilities and threats, it’s essential to perform regular security assessments. Brakeman, a widely used static analysis tool for Ruby on Rails, can help you identify security vulnerabilities proactively.

In this article, we’ll explore how to use Brakeman to check your Rails app for security vulnerabilities.

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How ActionDispatch::Response#content_type Changed between Rails 5.2 to 6.1

If you have ever upgraded Rails from 5.2 to 6.0, you might have run into issues with changes that had been made to the value of ActionDispatch::Response#content_type between the two versions.

If you have been lucky, you might not have even noticed there was a problem until Rails 6.0, after coming across this deprecation message:

Rails 6.1 will return Content-Type header without modification. If you want just the MIME type, please use `#media_type` instead.

What happened with ActionDispatch::Response#content_type between Rails 5.2 to 6.1? In this article, we will go into some background to learn what this method does, look at the differences in ActionDispatch::Response#content_type’s return value between the several Rails versions, and how you can fix the problem if you come across it in your codebase.

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Why You Might Not Want to Run `rails app:update`.

At, we don’t always run rails app:update in our process to upgrade Rails apps.

It might seem like a sacrilege - after all, that’s why the task was created, to make upgrading Rails as painless as possible, right? But we have found while upgrading dozens of applications that running rails app:update isn’t the best idea in all situations.

In this article, you will learn what rails app:update does, when it should not be used, and how to upgrade your Rails app without it.

Note: In Rails versions before 5.0, rails app:update was called rake rails:update.

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The Dangerous Query Method Deprecation

Have you ever tried to update a Rails app from 5.2 to 6.0, or from 6.0 to 6.1? If so, you might have seen this deprecation:

DEPRECATION WARNING: Dangerous query method (method whose arguments are used as raw SQL) called with non-attribute argument(s): "random()". Non-attribute arguments will be disallowed in Rails 6.0. This method should not be called with user-provided values, such as request parameters or model attributes. Known-safe values can be passed by wrapping them in Arel.sql(). (called from ...)

Note: While this deprecation message mentions Rails 6.0 as the version where the behavior is disallowed, that change was postponed, so the deprecation also shows in Rails 6.0. The behavior is actually disallowed in Rails 6.1.

What does this deprecation mean exactly? In this article, I will explain that in plain English, what issue it is trying to prevent, and how to fix the problem if you come across it in your codebase.

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An introduction to software quality

At, we talk a lot about software quality. It’s how we determine whether a client is a good fit for an upgrade. The less technical debt a codebase has, the easier it is to maintain, and the more likely a Rails upgrade will go smoothly. But what determines whether software is “good quality”? In this article, we will talk about what software quality is, and explain the metrics that people use when talking about how to measure it.

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