Expert Q&A – Go Behind the Scenes of the SoftServe and NQCH Quantum Bootcamp

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Imagine being a part of a team that gets to create and test solutions that could revolutionise industries. Even better — what if you were able to say you helped build out the future of computing?

When you take part in our Quantum Bootcamp, these scenarios are your reality.

In partnership with the National Quantum Computing Hub Singapore (NQCH) — a joint initiative of the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), A*STAR’s Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC), and the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore — the team at SoftServe is launching more than just your average bootcamp.

Being held from 22 May to 14 July 2023 in Singapore, this Quantum Bootcamp is an intensive, hands-on program. With support from Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), this bootcamp will encompass both academic and real-life experiences with industry leaders and technology partners like NVIDIA, IBM, and AWS. It's meant for undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in the rapidly growing field of quantum computing.

The team at NQCH along with Damyr Hadiiev, SoftServe's Global Quantum Research Lead, and Jonas Tan, the APAC Research & Development Lead — SoftServe’s quantum experts and brains behind the bootcamp — sat down to give us a behind-the-scenes look.

Come discover why this bootcamp will be unlike any other you've been a part of before.

What makes this bootcamp different from other quantum-related bootcamps out there? 

Damyr Hadiiev

One thing that sets this bootcamp apart from others is our format. SoftServe has established a method of defining roles and deliverables at every stage as we move from an idea to a minimum viable product (MVP). This helps determine any risks and sets up early research and development (R&D) activity.

Plus, we get industry partners involved from the early stages of the bootcamp, instead of only at the end. This lets bootcamp participants utilise the advantages of quantum computing as they work together with industry leaders on projects that are meaningful for their businesses.

That's another way that SoftServe's bootcamps are different from others. We help build a more holistic view of projects, instead of focusing solely on one area, tool, or technology in the curriculum. Students gain essential knowledge while creatively solving problems and engaging with real businesses in their quantum computing journey.

Jonas Tan

While there are plenty of quantum computing talent development bootcamps already, one of the reasons this one is so special is that we are working with students alongside industry players. As Damyr mentioned, this allows us to apply quantum computing theory to real-life business cases.

Bootcamp participants will get hands-on experience even after the bootcamp — something not all bootcamps can commit to.

SoftServe’s diverse network of industry players from fields ranging from banking and finance to aviation and manufacturing will mean participants develop a broad range of experience.

I've been doing my research on quantum computing since I was an undergrad, so this drive feels especially important to me. That was when I realised that while the entry barrier to this field seems high, it's more than possible to make meaningful contributions.

It only requires knowing a few basics and having some time to focus fully on learning quantum computing. With the talent shortage in this field, these students could get a head start on a successful career path and graduate with many sought-after skills.

How did you go about setting up this bootcamp?

Bootcamp Setting
Quantum Computing

This quantum bootcamp is the product of multiple puzzle pieces falling into the right places at the right time.

SoftServe was already planning to host a recruitment drive for quantum talent in Singapore. At the same time, NQCH’s Talent Team was putting together various quantum development efforts. This included an online quantum learning platform and targeted introductory quantum workshops.

The overlap between the goals of these projects was recognized and NQCH and SoftServe connected — the rest is history!

Damyr Hadiiev

What also helped us set up this bootcamp was SoftServe's repeated success in running other bootcamps and incubator programs.

In fact, our first quantum bootcamp was launched in partnership with Ivan Franko National University during the BMW Quantum Challenge. With this previous experience creating and running bootcamps, we knew we could make this one unique. We could focus on integrating real-life applications and situations requiring end-to-end problem-solving — from idea to the architecture vision to identifying potential gaps during testing and integration.

How can industry players benefit from and be involved in the bootcamp?

Quantum Computing

This bootcamp is an excellent collaborative platform for bringing together the diverse members of the quantum community, including students, researchers, quantum service providers, and industry end-users. It allows them to engage in open and constructive discussions about the promising future of quantum computing.

Our aim with the bootcamp is to provide a comprehensive and immersive learning experience for individuals interested in quantum computing. For industry players, our bootcamp can help to build a pipeline of talent to support their growth and the development of the quantum computing industry.

Damyr Hadiiev

This bootcamp is a brilliant opportunity for finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and other organizations to gain early R&D activity on potential solutions with quantum professionals and young talent.

By doing so, these organizations can determine whether quantum computing will be able to solve their actual business problems and whether it's a worthwhile investment for them.

Jonas Tan

Our bootcamp allows many players to come together — from future talent to service providers to industry end-users to government agencies. That's what makes it a perfect space for conversation and innovation.

Since one of the emphases is on education, we can also start correcting mistaken impressions about quantum computing. One major misconception is that quantum computing is a silver bullet for solving every computational problem. Quantum computers still have limits to what they can solve efficiently, and businesses must have a realistic view of what quantum computing can do. Our bootcamp can dive into what quantum computing can achieve for companies — and, just as importantly, what it cannot.

Why do you think this bootcamp is important in helping to shape the future of technology?

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a complex and rapidly evolving field, and at NQCH, our mandate is to build a robust and well-informed quantum ecosystem.

This quantum bootcamp, therefore, plays two crucial roles in shaping the future of technology. First, it helps develop and grow the quantum computing community. Second, it provides a grounded understanding for participants and stakeholders of the current state of quantum computing technology that is free from hype.

Damyr Hadiiev

As the NQCH team mentioned, the scientific landscape changes rapidly, and businesses must adapt to new technologies. Technology itself also needs to innovate to solve the latest business challenges.

Quantum computing is not some new, overhyped trend. It's been discussed regularly over the last 10 years. But this evolution means that most of the false expectations are gone.

We can now clearly see that this technology will remain a part of the high-performance computing (HPC) and security landscape. Businesses must be able to grow alongside these powerful devices as they tackle the challenges associated with this progress.

Jonas Tan

Having the right talent and increasing the available pool of candidates is obviously going to be important to the industry.

But beyond that, what we want to achieve with this bootcamp is to increase awareness and education about quantum computing. We'd love to be a catalyst for further collaborations.

What were the biggest challenges to organising this bootcamp and how did you guys overcome them?

Quantum Computing

The biggest challenge we faced when organising this bootcamp was managing the varying expectations from different community members. We had to ensure everyone was heard in order to create a coherent program that fit the needs of all our participants.

Damyr Hadiiev

This is the first quantum bootcamp of this scale organised in this region, so as NQCH said, we had multiple stakeholders involved. We've been working with key folks from the science field and the quantum industry, along with technology partners and businesses. Managing all these stakeholders can be challenging as everyone has their own perspective.

But honestly, this is a good problem to have as it's crucial to involve these stakeholders on this journey and, most importantly, get their buy-in for this initiative.

Jonas Tan

The biggest challenge we've faced so far is the massive amount of interest that we've received about this bootcamp.

Initially, we intended to run a smaller version. However, the sheer enthusiasm of everyone we talked to convinced us to expand it. As Damyr said, this was a great "problem" to have, and now the bootcamp has grown into the dynamic event you see today.

Thank you for your time!
Quantum Computing

With quantum computing, you can perform complex calculations and solve problems that would take even the most advanced classical computers an impractical amount of time to complete. Your work can potentially lead to groundbreaking advancements in fields such as medicine, finance, and energy.

Damyr Hadiiev

With quantum computing, you can uncover more beautiful phenomena in our world as you solve fundamental scientific problems beyond the possibilities of a classical computer.

If you're a business, you can gain a significant computational — and competitive — advantage in high- performance computing (HPC) tasks, security, and networking.

Jonas Tan

With quantum computing, you can astound your friends and family with what you do for a living!

Want to hear more about how SoftServe and NQCH are making waves for tomorrow’s business with quantum technology? Be sure to stay tuned for more Q&A as part of this behind-the-scenes series!

For more information about the bootcamp, please visit our Quantum Bootcamp page.

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