“How do you test a salt shaker?”-This is a classic question that has been posed around a lot of lunch tables, adding a little too much pressure and a little too much salt to the plate of a prospective employee who sits there, neatly dressed, hungry and secretly cursing the person who first invented the salt shaker!

Luckily, the first time I heard this question, it was a friend of mine. Since there were no sinister intentions involved with it and being a trained tester, I genuinely felt fascinated by it and sat down to list potential test cases. Upon completion, I ‘googled’ it with the intention of comparing my success with that of the intellectuals. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a single source on the Internet!

Yeah, it was fun, wasn’t it? 🙂

Finally, I decided to put out my own views (hence this page), partly so that it would be of some benefit to others, and partly to hope that someone would crucify my answers (I still love the challenge!).

So, how are you going to test a salt shaker? …

1. Make sure the shaker hole is wide enough for an average size of salt crystal, but not too big to let out too much salt.

2. The material from which the shaker is produced should not be reactive to sodium chloride (salt).

3. The shaker cap should have a fail-safe feature, so that it doesn’t come off by mistake when shaking. And human error should be taken care of, such as not allowing people to leave it half screwed on (maybe a click-on mechanism?).

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4. The holes must be constructed to prevent salt from clogging (How do you find it out!)

5. Salt should not be trapped between the head and the body of the salt shaker, so that the salt does not spill when the head is opened for refilling.

6. Plan the salt shaker head in such a way that, if the water drops casually on the shaker head, it doesn’t drop into the shaker and wet the salt (I think you’re going to have to deal with the size of the hole and the co-efficient of the viscosity of the water).

7. The salt shaker should have a strong grip (you don’t want to put it in your food!)

8. Build in such a way (or record correctly) that the shaker is never absolutely loaded with salt (So that there is moving space during a shake). For example, design a shaker with a narrow neck. That way, when filling, it tends to be complete when the salt reaches the top, while there is some space at the bottom towards the sides.

9. The salt shaker must not be too large or too thin. It’s expected to be the perfect size for the average side.