The quantum computer is coming and will be a revolutionary technology at the computer level. Both in terms of quantity and quality. In this article we will approach this incipient industry reviewing the reasons why it is worth take it in account.
If you are a programmer we will show you some sources to initiate you in the quantum computation. Many are the companies and universities that have invested in creating resources for who wants to initiate in this field. There are even public platforms where it is possible to be trained by experts for free.
The current situation of quantum computing
This branch of research has been in the making for many years. Since at least the early 1980s. But it is now that it is beginning to come to light due to the achievements of companies such as Google or IBM.
The creation of quantum computers is imminent (although on a large scale and with enormous costs, for the moment).
The fact is that today it is possible to use Python to program a real quantum computer. In 2017 IBM published the Python Qiskit library (Quantum Information Science Kit). With it you can write Python code that IBM computers run in the cloud, in a quantum environment simulator.
Meanwhile, IBM and Google are making progress in building the first computers with real and measurable results.
More and more resources are available
Qiskit has its own Youtube channel where you can find tutorials to use the library. It also includes videos to get started in the different aspects of programming in quantum environments.
IBM itself (one of the most active companies in the field along with Google), offers a virtual summer school with all the notions of quantum computing. It can be found here.
In addition, you will find more resources on websites such as edX, Brilliant, FutureLearn, IBM itself, or in the OpenCourseWare at MIT.
In addition to libraries and simulations available, there is a large amount of material produced by people who have approached quantum computing and who work in common open spaces.
On Facebook, Slack or Discord several platforms have been created in the last years around the topic, where students exchange their knowledge.
This Facebook group (Qinfo Scientist), for example, shares the latest research in the field. In Slack we have a working group from IBM related to the library we mentioned before, Qiskit. It is widely used by beginners.
What are the prospects for the future
As this is a growing industry that is close to achieving important achievements, the forecast is that more and more programmers will be trained in this field. It is expected that by 2020 the world of quantum computing will invoice more than 6 billion euros.
In fact, the demand for workers in this field continues to increase, especially in the United States, where more than a million workers of this type will soon be needed.
It is certainly the ideal time to get started in this booming field. If you already master some programming language and are thinking of expanding your knowledge, quantum computing may be the key. A world that seems difficult, but that has a friendly community and many resources with which to start learning.