Client Case Study: The Show Goes on Smoothly for Comedy Works

Jun 23, 2016 - Prakash Murthy


A few weeks ago, we received the following in an email from Jim Freiberger, Web Manager of Comedy Works in Denver:

Update: we've sold out 8 Dave Chappelle shows now (each one went clean in under an hour) so that's close to 3,000 tickets sold through the new cart without an issue. Last year when he came we had lots of customer complaints about site performance when trying to check out. Still not one yet this time around.

Jim was referring to the enhanced shopping cart functionality we had implemented on their Ruby on Rails System to replace their former tickets-for-one-show-per-purchase system.

This statement is a solid endorsement of the work we have performed for Comedy Works!

Comedy Works has been championed by USA Today as one of the Top Five Comedy Clubs in the country; it has been Denver's premier destination for the very best in stand-up comedy since 1981. Comedy Works organizes more than a thousand shows at their two locations in Denver every year, and sell more than 50 thousand tickets for those shows per year.

Comedy Works uses the Ruby on Rails application to manage the box office operations at their two locations in Denver. The application has a customer facing part that presents the various shows being lined up at each of the locations. It also allows customers to purchase ticket for shows. The application also has a back office component used to administer shows, comedians, users, tickets, and more.

Comedy Works - through CodeGeek, their web development partner - became RubyAppCare's first paying customer in April 2016. This is a continuation of the working relationship our CEO, Prakash Murthy, has had with CodeGeek & Comedy Works since Aug 2014 when they hired him as a consultant to help manage their Ruby on Rails application.

Over our two year working relationship with Comedy Works, we have played an integral part in keeping the application running smoothly, and consistently adapting it to meet the changing needs of their business, their customers, and the comedians they host.

Here are a few key highlights of our working relationship with Comedy Works:

  • Many large development projects were handled as part of this engagement, including:
    1. Upgrade of Ruby and Ruby on Rails versions from version 1.8.7 and version 2.3.18 respectively. After multiple upgrades, the system is currently on ruby version 2.3.0 and rails version
    2. Redesigned the application to use a responsive layout to support mobile devices.
    3. Added the ability to purchase tickets for multiple shows in a transaction. (Originally customers were only able to purchase tickets for one show at a time.)
  • Numerous minor enhancements were made to the application as and when they came up. For example, just in the last month, the following enhancements were deployed to their system:
    1. Allowing customers to request handicap seating assistance while purchasing tickets.
    2. Associating a specific location to internal administrator users so that Managers at the two locations can get emails relevant to their specific location.
    3. Adding an additional email, to follow the ticket confirmation, explaining the experience customers will have using Yondr (a phone-silencing product) at the Comedy Works' venues.
  • Promptly addressing bugs as soon as they come up:
    • We use the Exception Notifier gem to alert the team about any errors the users encounter on the system. We then promptly follow up on critical issues, giving Comedy Works the confidence to know that any issues that come up up in their system are promptly addressed and resolved by a knowledgeable person.
  • Improving the quality of the code base:
    • We spent a significant amount of time improving the quality of the codebase. The code quality improvement effort - through numerous rounds of refactoring - has made the codebase simple to work with, so we can implement new features and resolve issues faster. Additionally, it helps new developers to come up to speed quickly with the code base.
  • Code Quality Improvement - as indicated by Code Climate:

    Code Quality Status Before:


    Code Quality Status After:



    Comedy Works has significantly benefitted from working with RubyAppCare. We look forward to continue this mutually beneficial relationship over a long period of time.

    A final word from Ron Zasadzinski of CodeGeek:

    We like working with Prakash because of his high level of skill in Ruby on Rails. He was able to help us through a difficult time when another development company dropped the ball on a major project. Prakash came in and was able to complete the challenging project which required dedication and tenacity, delivering the results we needed. We continue to work with Prakash for both maintenance and development.

    While Comedy Works may deal in the art of Comedy, handling their business smoothly is no laughing matter. RubyAppCare is proud to help provide a smooth experience for their customers, their staff, and each of the great comedians that they host.


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