A few days after legendary analog designer Jim Williams passed
unexpectedly, his son posted a moving eulogy on EDN
. Would that all of
us fathers are someday remembered so lovingly by our kids.
Father's Day is Sunday, a day when little kids scramble into bed and
give you Crayon-scribbled cards with your OJ, or your adult kids call
you from far off places. And, if you're not too old, you call your
father to offer him good wishes.
When I had a chance to interview Steve Wozniak at ESC this spring
, I asked him how his father, a noted engineer at Lockheed, influenced him. His father was supportive but not meddling, Wozniak said.
"He would never say 'You should be an engineer.'"
In Wozniak's case and no doubt others, proximity is key.
As our kids celebrate us, how did your father influence you?
- Was he too an engineer who took you into the garage on weekends
to build amazing machines and served as a model for your own
- Was he in a non-technical profession who encouraged you to get
into technology because the pay was good?
- Did he simply turn on your old black-and-white TV and call you in
from the back yard to watch Neil Armstrong's grainy descent into
history and thus inspire you?
- Did he loathe technology to the point where you wanted to prove a
point with your career?
We often follow in our fathers' footsteps, and at a time when we seem to
struggle to get kids interested in engineering as a career, it will be instructive to see what factors may have led to this generation's
embrace of the profession.
Tell us your stories!