Not more than a fancy name?
Test Architects: who are they really? In most cases the title is not much more than a preferable name to a really skilled tester involved and even in charge of various curtail processes while not even a half of them is directly related to actual software tests. So this is what I personally would be calling a senior-like test role that covers a wide scope of activities and responsibilities. So yes, the title is more than just a loud name despite it, however is not the best-fitting one. Many companies are even avoiding this name for a job title because it actually is not an accurate description of any Test Architect.
An accurate description of a good Test Architect
No Test Architect is doing the same work as his other colleagues across different projects or companies. There is no checklist of most test architect’s responsibilities, tasks or duties. One Test Architect may be into testing infrastructure development all the time in company A while the other Test Architect from company B is fully responsible for one particular technology or a group of people. However they are both called Test Architects. And company C may have an architect responsible for the very tasks any outsourced quality assurance analyst would be doing like series of consulting services and etc.
Do Test Architects even have something in common? Every single Test Architect is bond to providing teams with both strategic decisions as well as technical leadership. A decent Test Architect also should have a really deep understanding of all that happens after releases hence possession of deliverables which are in no way connected to current releases are also necessary.
Who is called a Test Architect?
Best practices, techniques and methodologies applied to testing are a necessary knowledge every Test Architect possesses. A decent Test Architect I indeed the right hand to the project manager and is a beacon for the entire team in terms of strategy and leadership. Delivering responsibilities is also a thing great Test Architects should be doing. Some Test Manager responsibilities are also passed on to the Test Architect occasionally like implementation of changes and adjustments designed to deliver faster team growth, etc.
So, as you can see Test Architects would be people in a senior testing position of a man with many talents. The name does not have to be the same in your company but you now know who exactly is referred to as the right Test Architect.