One of the greatest obstacles to the growth of the emerging quantum computing industry today is the shortage of specialized workforce . The situation is so worrying that this is one of the most urgent problems to be solved in the countries that are leading the race in quantum computing technology and that are betting on the quantum industry as a growth engine for their economies. And they are trying, designing and running large quantum literacy projects as part of huge national quantum projects.
We are convinced that the development of the quantum industry would not have a future at a social scale if it only depends on the essential quantum scientists, mathematicians and physicists, as in its time the classical computing industry would not have had the current success if it had only depended of cybernetic engineers. As with classical computing, it will be software engineers and programmers, in interaction with users and the market, who will end up defining how and for what quantum computing will be used when developing practical commercial applications that will contribute to it first, its usefulness and, progressively, its universality.
But, to develop quantum software today there is not only the enormous difficulty of having to do it with a new technological and programming paradigm. There is also a wide variety of quantum programming languages, a large number of programming development environments, a wide variety of types of quantum simulators and hardware, and there is still no methodology for developing high-quality quantum software. In this context, it is not difficult to understand the enormous difficulties to overcome in the creation of “universal” competencies for the development of quantum software.
For those (as for us) the future of quantum computing is already here, the challenge to contribute to the acceleration of the development of commercial quantum software is to overcome, as soon as possible and in multiple ways, these enormous obstacles which, by their complexity, they will hardly have an immediate social and cultural solution.
Bearing in mind, among other issues, the situation described above regarding the lack of workforce required for the development of commercial quantum software, we addressed the challenge of designing and developing QuantumPath®, a quantum software development and lifecycle application platform that facilitates the work of engineers and programmers in the development of quantum software that does not demand “universal” skills for the development of high-quality quantum software because QPath®:
- Enables the quantum software life cycle and engineering.
- Enables the integration of quantum/classical information systems with its ecosystem of tools, services and processes that makes it possible to execute quantum process units in a transparent way with respect to the quantum environment in which they are executed.
- Supports multidisciplinary teams, allowing them to focus only on the functional knowledge required for the quantum solution in any field of activity: Chemistry, Economy, Financial Services, Energy, Agriculture, Medicine and Health, Privacy and Cryptography, Logistics, Defense and National Security, …
- Provides an ecosystem of applications to develop quality quantum software applying Software Engineering principles.
The objective of facilitating the development of commercial quantum software with QPath® has also been applied to the design of graphical work interfaces, which allow:
- Visually design the quantum assets of the application and define the environment´s requirements
- Choose the execution target of the preferred quantum computers, assisted by an AI support system with fully automatic processes
- Simplify the creation of hybrid systems, integrating the quantum part with the classical one through standard, clear and self-provisioned web services from the quantum application catalog
- Explore the results using a unified scheme, without worrying about the language of quantum computers
- Manage all the processes and analyse all the stored telemetry
- Facilitate the use of the platform with a fully automatic process support system and a reduced learning curve
QPath® has been designed and developed in accordance with the principles and commitments of the Talavera Manifesto in the field of software engineering and quantum programming and, therefore, is agnostic regarding quantum programming languages and technologies and supports the management of quantum software development projects.
QPath® is a platform that does not demand a workforce with “universal” competencies for the development of quantum software because, simply, it provides the necessary tools for the development team to focus on the development of the solution without having to worry about the specificities of quantum platforms and their necessary requirements.
QPath® helps circumvent the current limitations of the quantum workforce market and, in this sense, is an accelerator for the adoption of commercial quantum software development that contributes to the democratization of access to quantum computing.
 Peterssen, G. Quantum technology impact: the necessary workforce for developing quantum software. CEUR-WS.org, Vol-2561, 2020-02-28.