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How Wallbox uses Runway as a single source of truth for transparency and collaboration.

company
Wallbox is a smart charging company on a mission to liberate the world from fossil fuels, by developing state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging solutions for homes, businesses and cities.
headquarters
Barcelona, Spain
industry
Electric vehicle charging
Mobile Team Size
50
Platforms
iOS, Android
Release Frequency
Weekly
Integrations
GitLab, Jira, Slack, Firebase, Datadog

Wallbox was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing convenient electric vehicle charging access to homes, businesses, and cities everywhere. They provide electric car owners with full control over their own charging, allowing them to conveniently access, use, and share energy — putting trips to the gas station forever in their rearview mirror.

From a user interface standpoint, Wallbox hardware is very simple (it is a wall box after all): customers mount it near parking, plug one end into a source of electricity, and the other into a car as needed. This simplicity in hardware design demands complexity elsewhere, as customers need to activate their charger, schedule charging for certain times of day, and alter configurations to increase power output (among many other things).

To take advantage of these, and the many other Wallbox features, customers rely on their mobile app. This means Wallbox mobile engineers can’t let a clunky, confusing release process hold them back from continually updating and improving upon the primary point of interaction with all of their customers.

Challenge

In-house automation helped improve complicated and manual processes, but major issues around visibility and collaboration remained  

“We were relying on very long processes, and everything had to be done manually: we’d hit a button to launch one script, and when it finished we’d go hit another button to start the next one. If we forgot to do a step, it just didn’t get done.”

Luka Hristic
iOS Tech Manager

Getting a release out the door at Wallbox was a complex and often tedious process, executed by a select few senior engineers that also needed to constantly manage communication around progress and blockers with the wider team. Releases took so long that new updates and features were backlogged instead of continuously pushed out as they were ready to go. This was frustrating for Product, frustrating for Engineering, and frustrating for everyone else.

To try and improve the situation, the team streamlined their branching strategy and leaned into building bespoke automations that removed the need for pushing so many buttons. These changes made life a little better, but they didn’t address some core ongoing issues around communication and visibility.

“We automated a lot of our release process, but where does it all go? Who is tracking it? How do we see the status of everything?”

Jaume Ollés
Engineering Manager

No matter how many solutions they built to simplify the actual process of submitting the release, there was no automation that could make communication less manual or bring increased visibility to the entire release process.

This left several problems in need of a solution:

  • Whoever was managing a release became both a single point of contact and a single point of failure for the entire endeavor, as not all engineers had the time to become experienced or comfortable with the process. If the most experienced and knowledgeable release manager was out of office or otherwise unavailable, things slowed to a near halt while someone less experienced with the release process worked out how to manage it.
  • Communication on the next steps for each release could be very scattered. Is QA done with their regression tests? Maybe a Jira ticket was updated, or maybe you’d need to ask, or maybe there was a message somewhere in Slack.
  • Delays were inevitable due to communication miscues and having no way for everyone involved in the release to easily check on progress or see if their own contributions were due or holding things up.

Even if a release was managed perfectly, checklists were followed to a T, and all the scripts ran without a hitch, there was still no visibility into how the process was moving along. The platform team had to either continually update everyone about each step of the release or get continually asked, “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?”

What they were lacking was a single source of truth where all their disparate automations, release steps, and people could be brought under one roof, with a birds-eye view accessible to anyone who needed to track how the release was going or provide their sign-off for things to move forward.

Solution

One place to manage and collaborate on the entire release process, accessible to everyone

“We had accepted that this is how things were and how things had to be. But with Runway, we realized we can actually solve these problems.”

Jaume Ollés
Engineering Manager

Though they were always looking for ways to make their releases better for everyone, they’d mostly just accepted that this was just how things had to be. Until they encountered a Runway booth at a conference in London and realized that it could be their one source of truth — their control center for mobile releases.

Like many mobile teams, it stands to reason that not everyone at Wallbox can directly access Google Play Console or App Store Connect to see the status of a rollout is at 10% or 20% complete. Not everyone can go to GitLab and see the full history of Wallbox’s releases. Not everyone can be plugged into the details of the release workflow all day, every day and be ready to answer questions around the clock as work happens. But everyone can see all these details at a quick glance in Runway.  

All of the different tools they were already using to run their releases would now be accessible in one place with a clean, readable UI that could be easily understood by anyone in the company. Automations wouldn’t need to be daisy chained, they’d now be connected in Runway. They wouldn’t need to open twenty different tabs anymore to check in on different parts of the process, because all that information would be in a single dashboard. Updates wouldn’t need to be requested via Slack message; anyone could just log in to Runway and see how things were going.  

“How did this tool not exist before? After a super easy set up, taking all the APIs from Jira, GitLab, GitHub and integrating them all in a single place was an amazing feeling. It was a no-brainer to keep using it.”

Luka Hristic
iOS Tech Manager

Runway filled in all those gaps that were previously prone to human error, by giving all the humans at Wallbox a single place to see both a birds eye view and the details of each release. The seemingly unsolvable problem was getting solved.

Results

Releases are no longer chaotic or stressful, instead happening without anyone needing to give them much thought.

“Runway was this unexpected solution that made every part of our release process a lot better.”

Jaume Ollés
Engineering Manager

Every mobile release at Wallbox had been an all-hands-on-deck affair, but until Runway, there was no way of seeing where they were actually standing on that deck — short of combing through a chaos of Slack messages, piled-up Jira tickets, and unnecessary Zoom meetings. Now, Wallbox simply turns to Runway to orchestrate and visualize all the different steps of their releases.

“Runway automates our release communication and provides a tool where we can track the real status of work. If QA is not approved, you can immediately see, without having to go digging around, that this one thing is blocking the release. Then you can quickly follow up about it.”

Marc Garcia Guerrero
Android Tech Lead

Runway is integral to each and every release that Wallbox pushes out to their Android and iOS users. A process that previously stressed out and overloaded the few people who could run a release from beginning to end now runs almost as if no one needs to be involved at all. Engineers and QA managers, product people and company leadership, can all focus on the important work of building a great experience for their customers instead of endlessly tinkering with release processes and pinging each other back-and-forth in Slack.

“We don't have to do anything. I almost forget when releases happen, and then the next morning I’ll remember, ‘oh yeah, we had the release yesterday!’ That's nice. Everything is automated, and it's all in Runway so anyone can see the current state. It’s a super, human readable interface.”

Luka Hristic
iOS Tech Manager

Release better with Runway.

Runway integrates with all the tools you’re already using to level-up your release coordination and automation, from kickoff to release to rollout. No more cat-herding, spreadsheets, or steady drip of manual busywork.