IBM tries to tempt devs to eat its Qiskit, feeds them certification for quantum systems


IBM has pushed out its first developer certification for programming a quantum computer. Big Blue claimed people of all development backgrounds could earn a certification in programming with Qiskit – its own quantum software development kit – allowing them to turn quantum coding skills into a potential opportunity as demand for quantum expertise picks up.

The IBM Quantum Developer Certification is a 60-question certification exam offered on the Pearson VUE computer-based test platform. Unsurprisingly, those who pass the exam will have demonstrated experience using IBM’s Qiskit to create and execute quantum code for IBM quantum computers and simulators. The exam is available globally, but currently appears to be available only in English.

The certification – the first in a series – is expected to evolve alongside IBM Quantum’s hardware and software as these develop. IBM is one of the chief players in the development of a quantum computing ecosystem, and the firm said it was trying to build a diverse, global, cloud-based developer community able to bring (likely IBM-flavoured) quantum computing skills to their own communities and industries.

While it focuses on demonstrating familiarity with the quantum field and using Qiskit to create and execute quantum circuits, future certs are expected to build on those skills to demonstrate an ability to use quantum computing to solve problems in optimisation, chemistry and finance.

IBM said it planned to roll out scholarships to developers who are short of cash, equip teachers with access to IBM Quantum tools through a Quantum Educators programme, and offer educational backup such as the Introduction to Quantum Computing and Quantum Hardware.