Quantum at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Megan Brown

Ignite 2019 was my second time attending Ignite, but my first time attending as a member of the Microsoft Quantum Team. It was a particularly exciting event because of our big announcement around Azure Quantum. It was my first time working directly on a project that would be highlighted in Satya Nadella’s keynote, and it was incredible to see the amount of effort, resources, and energy that go into making a big announcement like Azure Quantum happen. Since I was also a part of 2 sessions during Ignite, I had the opportunity to work with marketing, communications, and our quantum leadership team to help build out and deliver our messaging. One of my favorite parts of my job as a program manager is figuring out the strategic direction of a product, and it was a wonderful experience to help build that direction for the Quantum Development Kit at Ignite.

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There were around 8 or 10 of us from Microsoft Quantum doing sessions or working at the booth during the conference. At the booth, we spent most of our time discussing Azure Quantum with conference attendees. The Ignite audience was diverse in their experience and knowledge with quantum computing. Some folks came by and asked specific questions about our dilution fridges (which we had a large photo of at the booth), as well as folks who first heard about quantum computing during our keynote announcement and wanted to learn more. We had a quantum chip on display at the booth which was particularly exciting to those who stopped by.

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We also had what we believed to be the best stickers at Ignite…Twitter was abuzz about our wonderful Quantum Cat stickers during the conference. It was great to see the enthusiasm and curiosity attendees had for Azure Quantum!

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In total, there were 4 sessions at Ignite featuring our quantum efforts:

  • 75-minute session on Creating Impact Today with Microsoft Quantum, presented by Helmut Katzgraber and myself
    • A more in-depth look at Azure Quantum, with demos around quantum-inspired solutions and Q# running on hardware & simulators through Azure
  • 20 minute Azure Quantum 101, presented by myself, Megan Brown
    • A high-level overview of Azure Quantum
  • 45 minute panel with our Azure Quantum partners, moderated by Julie Love
    • Panelists from: Microsoft, IonQ, Honeywell & QCI
  • 75-minute session on Quantum Computing: Computing in a Probabilistic Universe, presented by Mark Russinovich
    • A deep dive into quantum computing and developing quantum applications with Q#.

All the quantum sessions were well attended with many thoughtful questions and comments from the audience once the session was over. It’s clear that people are excited about Azure Quantum and eager to learn how they can get involved!

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Overall, Ignite was a truly wonderful experience, and I cannot wait to attend more events like it as a member of the Microsoft Quantum Team!

This post is the third entry in the Q# Advent Calendar 2019. Follow the calendar for other great posts!


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