Meet Adobe AEM’s Biggest Enemy: Joe Gunchy

Years ago, I sat down on my first day of a programming course at California State University, Sacramento when Dr. John Gwynn walked into the room carrying a wrinkled, brown paper bag full of books. Dr. Gwynn looked like a mix between Santa Claus and a panhandler. He had a shaggy white beard that was stained beneath his lower lip and long, grey hair poking out of his floppy Gilligan hat.  The room fell quiet as he stood at the front of the room, pointed to an empty chair, and recited this poem:

The semester has started but have no fear,
The student’s best friend Joe Gunchy is here.
Though loved by all, his brain has gone numb,
So stay on the ball and not be that dumb.

WTH? The dude was talking about an invisible student sitting in an empty chair!

Dr. Gwynn explained that Joe Gunchy is a complete idiot and does everything wrong. But, his invisible student will “ask all the dumb questions so you don’t have to.”   He makes all the mistakes so we don’t have to.   Throughout the semester, Dr. Gwynn would point to the chair and say, “Now Joe Gunchy might try to do it this way…“, then explain why Joe’s approach was wrong.  Then he would show us the best way to do it.

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. – Chinese Proverb (as told by Dr. Gwynn)

The good news is, after many years on campus, Joe Gunchy finally graduated. The bad news is, he got a job, is implementing his first Adobe AEM project and is making a mess of it.  Joe Gunchy is making all the mistakes so you don’t have to!

Dr. Gwynn often told personal stories during his lectures that seemed unrelated. Then magically, he would tie the story to a complex computer theory which made learning the details easier (and actually entertaining).  Not only did I learn theory, I learned about Dr. Gwynn himself. This is how I will structure this site and lessons.

Sadly, Dr. Gwynn passed away during my senior year, but his lessons stuck with me. So, we’ll follow dumb Joe Gunchy as he works through poor planning, wasted hours, bad design, and ultimately a failed Adobe AEM migration. Then, I’ll show you the best way to do it.

RIP Dr. Gwynn. Long live dumb-ass Joe Gunchy. 


5 thoughts on “Meet Adobe AEM’s Biggest Enemy: Joe Gunchy

  1. You stirred up some great memories. As I recall, the University bookstore even sold T-shirts with Joe Gunchy on them. Dr. Gwynn was the best instructor I ever had. Who else could make compiler construction such an interesting topic with Joe Gunchy in the picture? Dr. Gwynn had a passion for solving gambling problems and I was fortunate to have him as my advisor for my Master’s project.

  2. I love that Joe Gunchy graduated. It certainly took him long enough. I had him in two classes in the mid 1980s, and was fortunate enough to work with John for years after.

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