2023 in Review

2023 in Review
Photo by Kajetan Sumila / Unsplash

It’s March and I haven’t published since November. I am just now writing a recap of last year so it’s fair to say I’m a bit behind on things, but I’m excited to share why! Year in Review time.

You can find previous years in review here: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


In October of 2023 we welcomed baby boy #2 to our family!

Baby Boy Kenst, the second

He’s healthy and growing fast. If you’ve never had the pleasure of raising a baby all I can say is it’s a lot of work. (Mixed with lots of joy.) They need constant help and wake you a lot during the night. This lack of sleep has made it difficult to do much besides my day job regardless of my caffeine intake.

We spent a good part of ‘23 making sure he was healthy and progressing well as he grew inside his mama. We’ve been much more chill this time around. Less worried about what we don’t have, don’t know and more concerned with spending time together as a family. Outside of the lack of sleep, it’s been pretty great.

I continued to coach football and baseball for kid #1. He’s active in a lot of sports which means so am I. It's amazing how bad kids are when they start some new sport and how much better they get with practice and coaching. Makes me wonder why I don't apply finding a coach to other areas of my life!

His activities won’t slow but my coaching will: due to the aforementioned lack of sleep and increased workload. He is incredibly excited to help out and loves his little bro so much.

This is my main excuse for not writing. Good one, right?


One of the goals I set for myself in 2023 was to find a new job. Not because I saw a decline coming for Promenade Group but after 5 years I was hitting a ceiling. In July I joined a new startup called STELLA Automotive AI as a Director of QA.

At STELLA Automotive we are building a digital voice assistant that can talk to customers on the phone. We sell to car dealerships that want help with reception and service booking. In other words STELLA can answer phone calls, transfer customers to the right place and book appointments service.

I’ll write more in the future about my work at STELLA and how the organization works. It’s a different engineering and testing context since our sister company is building the platform that we sell and support.

Community Work @ the Association for Software Testing

Before COVID the Association for Software Testing (AST) ran its CAST conference annually. Since then, we’ve only been able to host 2 in-person conferences. Lots of reasons why this is, but in 2023 we didn’t have one and 2024 won’t see one either. The plan is for the next CAST to happen in 2025.

Running a non-profit in your spare with a bunch of volunteers is fun challenge. It’s made more challenging when you consider board members serve only 2 year terms. The key to dealing with this continual change (and brain drain) is by setting yearly goals and training new board members through runbooks. Turns out good documentation can help scale teams quickly!


It’s been over a year since migrating to the Ghost platform. My plan to focus more on writing content has been a success (12 posts). My secondary goal to build a newsletter has gone ok (ended the year with 86). I've adding better visuals (thanks especially to Bing Image Generator) and even included audio versions of the posts. More things will come in '24.

Kenst.com traffic in 2023

For 2023, it looks like this site had about 63,138 pageviews. That’s down from 84,600 in 2022 and 160,000 in 2021. In the past a lot of the articles I’d write were to share a solution to a problem I solved. Turns out these kinds of articles have a shelf life and that's the primary reason for the decline. That’s why for 2023 I introduced a secondary goal around membership and will likely do the same for 2024. (The primary goal will be around sharing / writing content).

Kenst.com membership for 2023


I run an open source list of software testing conferences and workshops from around the world. It’s my way of being an indie hacker and having a side hustle (besides writing and community work). Since TC has a newsletter and sponsorships, pageviews are a little more important than with Kenst.com. Unfortunately I switched Google Analytics versions and now have to look at data between 2 properties for the year. Ugh.

Pageviews for half of 2023

In 2023 we had over 37,000 pageviews which is a slight increase from the past 2 years. The newsletter (which is separate) grew from about 900 subscribers to over 1,000 in the year. In that same time the Twitter/X account has grown from 1270 to 1700. The newsletter offers the most value for regular readers, while the website is best for online (search) discovery.

And breathe. Ok first article down and many more to come. Now all I need is some more sleep!

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Jamie Larson