今日推荐英文原文：《4 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Start With Quantum Computing》
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今日推荐英文原文：《4 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Start With Quantum Computing》作者：Sara A. Metwalli
4 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Start With Quantum Computing
A field that’s very welcoming for newcomersToday’s major companies (IBM, Google, Microsoft) are racing towards building a fully functioning quantum computer. Quantum technology has gained so much attention in recent years, even though quantum computing’s origins go back to the early 1980s.
This major attention has led companies and universities to build and develop resources for those curious to get into the quantum realm. Moreover, those curious souls have formed groups on different platforms to share knowledge and support each other in their learning journey.
As a person who recently joined the field (about two years ago), I can assure you that now — despite everything else — is the absolute best time for you to join this exciting, rapidly developed field.
In this article, I will give the four reasons why I think that now is the best time to jump in and start your quantum journey.
Let’s get right to it.
The Current Stage of the FieldQuantum technology is not a new field. The recent attention in the media and the different companies may have made it seem that way, but the truth is the development of quantum computing started sometime around the early 1980s.
Since then, the field has come a long way. Today, you can use Python to program an actual quantum computer and get some results back.
Yes, the results won’t be very accurate because the hardware’s current stage is very faulty, but the fact that you can get results moves the field from theory to practice. This is a very encouraging fact to start programming and running codes on actual quantum hardware.
In 2017, IBM released the Python library Qiskit (Quantum Information Science Kit). This library allows you to write Python code that can be executed on one of IBM’s machines on the cloud. This means you can implement many popular quantum algorithms, such as Shor and Grover, for real-life application and test them on the simulator provided by Qiskit as well.
In addition to programming language add-ons, there has been a lot of effort devoted to developing quantum circuit simulators that allow you to build actual circuits without the need to write any code.
The Supporting CommunityThe development of programming language libraries and circuit simulators eased the process of getting into the field. Moreover, these advancements have encouraged the curiosity of many high schoolers and undergrads to try these technologies and grow their knowledge bases.
Those students formed many communities on different platforms, such as Discord, Facebook, and Slack, to communicate with each other and share their knowledge.
These communities are not only for students in schools and universities. For example, Qiskit has its own Slack workspace that includes people from the development team, professors, and researchers in the field, to curious people from all ages and backgrounds. This Slack workspace is very active and supportive of beginners.
Away from Slack, there are many Facebook groups that share the latest research papers in the field and any upcoming webinars from all around the world. The authors of the technical papers are often very welcoming to questions and comments from the readers and are happy to help out any way they can.
The Available ResourcesDue to the increasing attention of people of all ages and backgrounds, many materials have been developed and are being developed to simplify the complex concepts and deliver them in an easy-to-grasp way.
Most of these resources are available for free and can be accessed from anywhere. Qiskit has its own YouTube channel that contains videos for how to use the library and videos covering basic concepts of quantum computing for different applications.
Back in August 2020, IBM offered a two-week-long virtual summer school that covered everything from the basics of quantum computing to its applications in the field of chemistry. The recordings of this summer school are now available for everyone online.
IBM is not the only source of quantum computing learning materials. You can find many courses offered on edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn that you can audit for free and learn so much about the basics and even advanced topics in quantum computing.
MIT also provides lecture notes for various topics on quantum computing on its OpenCourseWare.
The Near-Future DemandQuantum computing is a rapidly developing field, with everyone trying to build the perfect hardware, find new applications for current algorithms, or even develop new algorithms. Because of that, the near-future demand for quantum programmers and researchers will increase shortly.
Many governmental and industrial institutions have set aside substantial funds to develop quantum technologies. The Quantum Daily (TQD) estimated the current market for quantum computing to be around $235 million. This number is predicted to grow substantially to $6.25 billion by 2025.
This incredible amount of funds leads to an increase in the number of academia, government, and industry positions. Almost all technology companies are changing their business model to adapt to when quantum technology makes an impact.
TQD also adds that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2020 so far, there are around 1.4 million more quantum software development jobs than applicants who can fill them.
In 2019, MIT published an article called “Q&A: The talent shortage in quantum computing” that addressed the different challenges the field faces right now. Afterward, it developed MIT xPRO, a group addressing the reality that students aren’t the only people interested in learning about the different aspects of quantum information.
Final ThoughtsQuantum technology is now in its golden phase — not quite at the beginning, yet not fully developed. It’s currently moving from theory to practice, opening up so many jobs and opportunities for those interested in quantum technology.
If you have ever wondered how a quantum computer works, how to program it, or were even curious to learn more about it, now is the time for you to get involved and join the field.
The field is very open and welcoming to new talents and curious people who want to jump in but are worried that they might not have the needed background or just think that they are not smart enough to get into quantum computers.
From a person who has been there and had all these doubts, I am telling you that the community has never made me feel like an imposter and everyone was always welcoming and supportive of me and my questions.
So, there’s nothing to fear. If you want to do it, then you can. All you have to do is take a leap of faith.