Quantum Computing: Learn Now and Prepare for the Future
App Dev Manager Kyle Kapphahn reminds us that while the practical implementation of quantum computing is a work in progress, it’s never too early to “dive in” and start learning.
Everything I ever learned about quantum mechanics, I learned from Star Trek. Which is to say, I don’t know anything about quantum mechanics. So how does one venture into the uncomfortable, upside-down world of quantum mechanics without being a physicist?
As a software developer, I’ve been driven by the idea that it’s our duty to have a “learn it all” mentality regarding our trade. Even if there is no known application at this time, being versed in new techniques, tools and technologies to help your company or team bring value to your customers at some point in the future is what we signed up for as developers. Quantum computing is one of those technologies and Q# is one of those tools.
First, learn all you can, at a pace you can handle. Microsoft is building tools to help software developers take advantage of this technology when it becomes widely available. Microsoft is developing Q#, “the domain-specific programming languages used for expressing quantum algorithms.” Ingest as much as you can. There are also a host of resources online from videos to White Papers, including resources on the Microsoft Quantum Computing site. In particular, I’d like to point you towards my fellow ADM, Leonard Woody, who posted this excellent series on Quantum Computing for Software Developers. I saw “Woody” deliver this live and it has inspired me to learn more.
Once you’ve become familiar with the terms, and perhaps tried Q#, reach out to your Developer Support team. We have Consultants and teams within Microsoft well versed in quantum computing to help refine your learning, bring concepts and understanding to your company or team, and help to explore the possibilities.
What’s important to remember is that quantum computing is in its infancy. This is an exciting time to be part of the industry. As I see it, as a software developer, we have a responsibility to understand the opportunity, the tools, and the technologies to democratize this new type of computing. Microsoft and Developer Support will be with you on this journey.