(ZDNet) IBM has unveiled a quantum developer certification which it says, once devs have passed the 60-question test, will act as proof of at least some of the skills required to build and run quantum programs. The certification, unsurprisingly, focuses on IBM’s own quantum computing software development kit (SDK), Qiskit,
What will this mean on a developer’s CV?
Developers are increasingly looking to quantum to expand their set of skills. Not only out of interest: the quantum computing industry is expected to become a $65 billion market by 2030, with many new jobs to be created along the way. If the number of Qiskit downloads indicates anything, it is certainly the case that a growing number of developers are preparing for the opportunities that quantum computing is on the verge of unlocking.
On the employers’ side, too, the appeal of investing in quantum skills is becoming apparent. With quantum computers predicted to furiously accelerate value creation in industries ranging from drug discovery to finance, many companies are already trying to understand the why and the how of quantum, to better identify where the technology might eventually serve business interests.
“Our certification is a first in the quantum industry,” says Abe Asfaw, global lead for quantum education and open science at IBM. “We made it available because we learned throughout our ongoing efforts in workforce development that there are no avenues for standardized quantum computing skills that employers can use in their hiring process. We have also found that developers are interested in showcasing their skills through certifications that are broadly accepted in the industry.”
Recent research carried out across different companies recruiting in the quantum field showed that employers typically look at academic backgrounds, as well as practical experience and skills, to make a decision when hiring. The bottom-line, however, is that the rapid growth of interest in quantum is not matched with a clear understanding of what should be expected of a future quantum workforce.
If anything, for most employers, the new certification will add some flavor to a CV, by indicating that an applicant has solid understanding of the building blocks of quantum computing. “This is a great start towards helping developers show their foundational skills,” Rhonda Wittels, vice president of engineering at Aliro Quantum, tells ZDNet. “A developer having this certificate on their CV is a plus that would make hiring that engineer more attractive.”
Candidates to the new certification will have to prove during the test that they can create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM computers and simulators using Qiskit. This means that developers should know how to leverage the platform to define and execute quantum circuits, implement single and multi-qubit gates, and write quantum programs.