I maintain my belief that anybody can become a tester (maybe all they need to do is to change their hats). I also think some people are born testers. This was my case, only I did not know it when I started my career.
I think you could easily identify future testers when they are kids if you observe their behaviours. For example, at the beach, is the kid building a castle? Possibly..dev. Is the kid destroying someone else’s castle (hopefully when that kid is away) or pointing the defects of the other kid’s construction? Possibly.. test. What if the kid first build the castle and then proceeds to destroy it? Well, that would be my case, you would understand it better later on.
When I was about 9 years old, I had an old computer, one of those that you plug to the TV and run on basic. It happened to come with a book for basic (or my parents bought it?). The thing is that I wanted to go further than the games I was playing with and I started to learn how to write some code.
Being able to write games myself opened a new door to wonderland for me. I was still curious to see how the games I was playing with were written, so I learned a very useful command: ‘LIST’. That was when the magic really started: lines and lines of beautiful code that I would have not been able to put together so far, but, yet, I could understand.
Some of those games took very long in loading and sometimes they would fail (‘Syntax error’ were the worst two words I could read back at those days.)
It turned out that the games were loaded by sound, and sometimes the cassette could jump and eliminate bits of code. Sometimes I was able to fix it, which would mean not to wait again for 2 hours (hurray!).
Years later, I did learn some concepts about testing during my computer science degrees, but it is usually something only described briefly as part of other courses (maybe the testing community could do something about this?).
When I started working, I first joined as a developer (I did not even know there were many other choices). It was fun to build those sand castles, but something was wrong… I was not satisfied, I needed something else. But that is…well… another story.