First up today was Linda Hayes talking about Cost Effective Test Automation Strategies. She grabbed my attention right off the bat by making clear that test automation is not about reducing your test staffing but rather about your leveraging testing resources. In fact, she says, if your goal is to reduce support and rework costs, then you actually need to do more testing, not less.
Other choice quotes:
Oh, and those cost effective test automation strategies the talk was purportedly about? Linda covered those in spades. The short version is "Build a framework". Linda is partial to using class libraries that wrap the necessary functionality for interacting with widgets (be they UI widgets, or database functionality, or SOAP messages, or whatever) that are then called from data-driven test cases. She likes this level because that functionality tends to be generic across applications, so you can use a single framework as the foundation for testing multiple applications.
Even so, this was a very good tutorial. Let's see if the rest of this week can be as good. <g/>