Blog Post • development

Where's waldo?

August 5, 2015by Alfonso Joven 2 min read

Maintaining a quality website is a tricky task for both developers and QA engineers. With constant changes coming out every single day and features requests comes in bulk, a website can evolve in every little detail. It takes a meticulous hand to catch all of these changes and it takes extreme control to not allow these changes to snowball the work-pile. The task is slightly reminiscent of the game “Where’s Waldo”. QA Engineers look at the most minute details of every project. They execute plans and tests which help the detail sifting, but in the end, it falls under the watchful eye of the engineer to catch the smallest of the bugs.

Talking about “Where’s Waldo”, the game itself presents with some elements that resemble a QA Engineers task. The objective of the game is to find the so-called “Waldo”. Essentially, it is the same for a QA engineer, where finding defects and bugs is our Waldo. Some techniques can be applied in a development process and/or QA test plan.

Started from the top, now we're here

Logically, you always start from the home page and crawl your way down to a specific page. This process ensures that the site coverage is close to optimal. It is bad practice to jump to pages unrelated to the current page you are on. This ensures continuity on pages linked together. Also, crawling down pages exposes possibly related bugs that is present on the previous page or the upcoming page.

Thanks, captain obvious.

In pressured QA situations, where time is of the essence, there won’t be enough time to go through the whole site detail by detail. Large projects also scale with the problem, and the headache grows infinitely bigger as the project grows. As a handy toolkit move, you check the most obvious places where you assume people will check first. Usually, these pages are linked on the home page, and admin controls are accessed by a small percentage of people. Hold off on the pages where people are less likely to hit, focus on the most obvious busy pages.

Finding Waldo, Walda, Wanda and Wildo

In my experience, bugs are hard to find. However, if you do find a bug, you will find that fixing that issue would resolve a ton of issues. CSS issues related to browsers usually fixes multiple pages, API bugs usually fixes the majority of pages as well. Digging for bugs may be a tedious job, but you might realize that you might find more value in what you’ve initially estimated for.

In the end, there are many techniques to use to help increase the process on your site / app. Managing your toolkit and learning which things to prioritize increases the potential of managing your site overall.

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