Testing has changed dramatically over the last several years, and what we've learned has changed our tools and our workflows. While the goal of a testing organization is to continuously test a system to ensure the best experience for its customers, the reality is bit different. Because of the cost and pain involved in building a test infrastructure, continuous delivery has not traditionally been achieved.
Testing has always been the less glamorous sister to software development, scarcely noticed outside the industry, and the object of complaints inside. If some small error is missed, testing is to blame; if time is running short or costs are getting too high, testing is likely to be starved of resources. When combined with these attitudes, the dependency on the existing test infrastructure means that the idea of changing any part of the testing process makes engineers and managers drag their feet unless they can clearly see the value.
The newly released patterns & practices guided addresses the costs and pain points traditionally involved in testing by contrasting the more conventional test approach employed by Contoso with the new approach Fabrikam takes using the Visual Studio 2012 RC testing infrastructure.