I'm looking for an entrypoint to learning about quantum computing to which I'm exposed only by popular science articles and some qiskit materials so far. I understand that it's entirely possible that I'm insulated from the underlying math and implementation details, but I'm not interested in that. Considering my background is in classical programming, mostly imperative languages, what's a good book or set of other materials to get me started but with a view to eventually go deep?


1 Answer 1


I don't think I agree - you really do need a grasp of quantum computing mechanics (including the math) in order to do any programming

TLDR: Quantum computers are so specialized and the software is so close to the physical realization that you need an understanding of the math of quantum algorithms.

Here's my logic

With classical computers, we have a large workforce of programmers who don't understand the physical implementation of bits, the semiconducting gates, etc. But, that's because the physical realization has been heavily abstracted away - we think in data structures that are far removed from bit realizations. So, they don't need to think of primitive logic gates when programming, as compilers already bring it to the bit level.

For quantum computers, we don't have these far off abstractions yet - we barely can achieve 50+ qubits (with so-so error correction), so an understanding of the underlying mechanics of qubits is critical. Programming a quantum computer is modifying individual qubits with gates, so you need to understand how the gates affect qubits. Also, quantum computers aren't meant for general computing - they're meant for tough, math heavy problems (like machine learning, molecular simulation, cryptography).


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