We would like to invite you to participate in our quantum computing mentorship program. In a nutshell: you’ll do an open-source project with the support of an expert and a community of like-minded people from all around the world.
The idea for this program comes from the fact that many people from diverse backgrounds want to learn more about quantum computing but they face many challenges, such as:
- shortage of educational materials at the intermediate level,
- there are many „blind alleys” that one can get into, which might severely slow down their progress,
- it’s easy to get a distorted view of the field from the outside.
By pairing people with mentors we want to help them overcome these hurdles and create interesting projects, which will, in turn, will help others.
How does it work?
- Assessment task
- Mentor and project assignment
To take part in the program, you need to fill in the application form. Based on that, we will choose people who we feel will have the best chance to succeed in this program.
We know that just reading someone’s CV is not enough. We also know that reading the description of this program might not be enough for you to tell whether it’s something you would enjoy. That’s why we will send “homework tasks” to people selected in the previous step. You will have 2 weeks to complete them. It will be the second step of the assessment process.
Mentor and project assignment
Welcome to the program! Based on your skills and interests, together with mentors we will work on ideas for projects which will best fit you. We will also pair you with a mentor who has expertise in this area and is genuinely excited about the project. Once both you and your mentor agree on the project, you will work together to plan its exact scope.
Finally, we have arrived at the most exciting part! You will work on the project under the supervision of the mentor. This part will last for a maximum of 3 months.
The project is done–great! But your job is not over yet. What good will do the project that no-one knows about? Now it’s time to wrap it up and promote – depending on the nature of your project, it might be either a blog post, paper, tutorial or something entirely different.
Below you can find the minimal requirements for participation in the project.
Knowledge of quantum computing basics
While we don’t require expertise, you need to know the basics. We don’t want to specify it exactly, but if you have done any of the things below:
- Read a book about quantum computing (e.g. Nielsen and Chuang),
- Finished a course on quantum computing (online or at your university),
- Implemented some quantum algorithms on a simulator.
you probably know enough.
A place which probably gathers all the necessary basics in one place is Quantum Computing for the Very Curious – if after reading this essay you feel like everything sounds new, then it might be a sign that you need to study a little bit more before applying.
Projects in this program are about writing software – while you don’t need to be a professional software developer, you need to have practical coding experience - at least a year.
When it comes to programming languages, Python is the most prominent language in quantum computing right now and is a preferred language for this program. However, knowing Python is not a requirement – there might be some interesting projects involving other languages.
Also, working knowledge of one of the major quantum computing libraries like Qiskit or pyQuil will probably be helpful.
We estimate that finishing such a project would take about 80-100 hours of work. Since we plan the projects to last for up to 3 months, it means it might take you about 6-8 hours per week to finish them. We know it’s a lot of time, but we also know that there is a lot of effort behind every great software project. That’s why we want the participants to be highly motivated and committed – if you have other commitments and won’t be able to spend that much time on a project in the upcoming months, perhaps it’s better to wait.
What would a mentorship program be without the mentors? We have invited a diverse group of professionals, from both industry and academia to be mentors in this program. A list is coming soon!
The program will run in batches. This means that you enroll only during a limited time window and the second batch won’t start until the first one finishes. Submissions for the program will be closed on February 14th, 2020. The first batch will start in March and last until the end of May 2020.
- The goal of the program is to create an open-source project related to quantum computing.
- Experts from industry and academia will help you build this project.
- The deadline for the application is February 14th, 2020.
If you’re interested, you can find an application form here. If you would like to be informed about the updates, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Finally, if you would like to learn the story behind this project (and its predecessor), Michał Stęchły (the main coordinator) described it on his blog.
How will the work with mentors look like?
First, you will have a call with your mentor to get to know each other and decide on the details of the projects. Then, your mentor will check-in with you every two weeks, to make sure you’re on track with the project and you’re not stuck. In the meantime, there will also be a Slack channel, where you can ask them questions or schedule a call if you need that and they will do their best to answer you quickly.
We would like to apply as a team
We do accept groups of up to 3 people. In such case we require you to provide some information about the projects you have done together. Please fill in only one application form per team.