Got a good exposure to engineering from my Dad -- he did not have the benefit of going to a larger school, and had majored in history -- He eventually after retiring from the national park service, started a company that designed museum's and exhibits among other things. There while working as general help, I got exposure to making blue-prints of the plans for them -- he also was kind enough to let me take apart old radio's that he aquired. Through his work he showed what the past was like to millions of museum visitors -- and I even stopped at one of the museums we had worked on together on the way to his memorial service -- everything was so well built, the exhibits all looked just like when we had put them on the truck to go there 25+ years earlier for the opening.
@Betajet mentioned... "....and a sense of humor." Too right. My dad introduced me to Goon shows - which I love to this day - and other British humor (being English, he would have called it humour :-) I'm eternally grateful for that too. He taught me to laugh at myself too, which is a very useful thing to be able to do....you can poke a lot of fun without offending anyone.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.