#1 What Quantum Software Engineers do?

Where to listen:

In this episode I talk about the job of quantum software engineers. What this job is about and how it’s different from similar positions? What challenges do QSEs face? What are some typical tasks that they work on? I tried to answer all these questions.

Some links to useful resources:

  • My blog

  • A pull request containing some of the changes I’ve talked about testing validity of gates: here

  • The code containing the ansatz interface I talked about: here

  • Hands-on example – my presentation where I went in details through one of the tasks that I’ve been working on.

#2 Nicolas Sawaya on climate change and research in quantum chemistry

Where to listen:

In this episode I’ve talked with Nicolas Sawaya, a research scientist at Intel. Below you can find some main points and links to relevant resources:

Where you can find Nicolas:

Work at Intel

  • Algorithms research
  • Simulation tools
  • Intel’s hardware – quantum dots
  • Hardware co-design in quantum computing
  • Jim Clark link to interview

Climate change

  • What did we learn from Q4Climate.
  • What is the timeframe for QC having impact on climate change.
  • Designing hardware for specific problem
  • How results from QC could be used in chemistry industry
  • Resource estimation (paper from Zapata)
  • Progress in algorithms beats Moore’s Law (page 71 here).
  • FeMoCo
  • Data about greenhouse gas emissions: US gov, Our World in Data
  • Climate change and plastics
  • 350 silicon valley
  • QC Ethics

Simulating chemistry



Designing novel algorithms

  • How to select an interesting field?


  • Book 1: War and piece
  • Book 2: Behave
  • Also related, but not mentioned in the podcast: my blogposts on “What individuals can do about Climate Change”: part 1, part 2.

#3 Razieh Annabestani on quantum ecosystem and working in different sectors

Where to listen:

In this episode, I talked with Razieh Annabestani, who got her Ph.D. in physics from University of Waterloo, worked at Xanadu and Anyon Systems, and advised the Government of Canada on quantum strategy. Now she works at Zapata as a Strategic Partner Alliance Manager. We talked about quantum computing ecosystem, differences between various sectors, the position of Canada in the quantum world and transitioning from science to business.

Where you can find Razieh:

The quantum computing landscape

  • Zapata’s role as a software company providing a platform that integrates into existing hardware for enterprise customers
  • 3 big players: frontline customers, software companies, hardware companies
  • Why do we have separate hardware and software companies?
  • The government’s role
  • Open source: “Anything that is publicly available benefits humanity in the long run.”

Hardware vs software companies

  • Why there is a discrepancy in the growth between hardware and software companies
  • How to get more people working in quantum hardware
  • Growing hardware-related skills
  • The need for talent from experts in other fields
  • Should hardware businesses provide their hardware for free?

Working at the Government of Canada

  • The job consists of 2 parts: 1) Government wants to know which companies are worth government investment, and 2) understanding the map of stakeholders and how we can shape their relationships to advance the field.
  • Answering these questions is like solving physics problems
  • Working in academia vs working in the government vs working in industry

Canada as a QC hotspot

  • Canada invested in the quantum technology earlier than most
  • IQC (at UWaterloo) was one of the first
  • Investing bottom up vs top down, science oriented vs tech oriented

Thanks Laura Gao for help with preparing the notes :)

#4 Kanav Setia on challenges with quantum software and education

Where to listen:

In this episode we talk with Kanav Setia, CEO of qBraid, about challenges with education and software development for quantum computing, Q2B 2021 conference and future research directions for quantum algorithms.

Where you can find Kanav:

Contact information:


  • Kanav’s path towards quantum

qBraid and problems with quantum software:

  • One stop platform for accessing quantum software and hardware
  • Helps with installation, versioning and compatiblity issues
  • Making reproduction of research easier

Education in QC:

  • What’s one thing that should be fixed in teaching QC?
  • Should we teach QC in high school?
  • Educational initiatives

Q2B highlights

  • A lot of businness interest in the field (and in qBraid specifically :) )
  • Managing hype
  • Workforce development
  • Cautious optimism


  • VQE review paper with Rahko team
  • Access to hardware as driving force for research
  • Social dynamics in research
  • Potential breakthrough in quantum algorithms?
  • Using abstractions in QC

Reading recommendations:

#5 Abuzer Yakaryilmaz on QWorld, international quantum education initiative

Where to listen:

In this episode we talk with Abuzer Yakaryilmaz, chairperson of QWorld. QWorld is an organization which teaches quantum computing in over 20 countries through various initiatives. We talked about those initiatives, the story behind QWorld and why running such an organization is not necessarily a smooth sailing. We have also discussed what are some challenges present in quantum education these days and finally touched briefly on Abu’s research on Quantum Finite Automata

Ethan Hansen helped me with editing in this episode, I strongly recommend to listen to his podcast, Quantum Computing Now.

Where you can find Abuzer:

Contact information:

QWorld - behind the scenes

  • How it all got started
  • Abu’s role in QWorld
  • Building organization based on volunteers
  • Biggest challenges at QWorld
    • Attracting money
    • Lack of experience with management
    • Managing volunteers
  • Biggest impact
    • QCousins
    • Educational materials
    • Online internships
  • Success stories

QEducation and QResearch

  • QBronze, QSilver, QNickel workshops
  • Training future workshop instructors
  • Graduate-level university course
  • Internship program

Education in QC

  • How things have changed in the last few years?
  • A lot of new, more accessible ways to learn QC
  • Good that there are many actors trying to teach QC
  • Teaching QC the slow way
  • Closing the gap in intermediate QC education.
  • Demand for different kinds of projects

Experience with UF

  • Very positive
  • A bridge between single people and organizations with money

Finite automata

Reading recommendations