Qiskit Advocate Applications Open Today — Here’s What You Can Expect from the Program

Junye Huang
Jul 15, 2020 · 4 min read
Qiskitters at Qiskit Camp Flagship 2019

As a Qiskit advocate turned full-time Qiskit Community Team member, I am excited to announce the opening of a new round of applications for the Qiskit advocate program!

What is the Qiskit Advocate Program?

The Qiskit advocate program is a global initiative to support the most active members of the Qiskit community. As an advocate, you will join the most passionate group of people in quantum computing. Since the program was launched last September, more than 100 people with diverse backgrounds from 20 different countries have joined. We work together to grow the Qiskit community, from organizing events to making open source contributions to Qiskit’s code.

Why should you apply?

There are many reasons to apply to this program. Here I highlight a few of them:

1. Networking with experts and enthusiasts

As an advocate, you will be able to attend monthly demo sessions to share projects and ideas with fellow advocates, and work together with them on new projects and events. Like advocate Farai Mazhandu shared in his post, the Qiskit Advocate program is all about collaboration and new friendships!

A great example of collaboration comes from our advocates in India. They gathered and brainstormed on Qiskit Slack and together they created IndiQ, a local quantum community organization with the mission to get India quantum-ready by organizing meetups, study sessions and hackathons.

As an advocate myself, I hang out a lot on Slack and Twitter with my peers and many of them have become close friends. We even have an Animal Crossing playing group! I got the chance to meet a few of them (Vicente Pina Canelles, Omar Costa Hamido and Desiree Vogt-Lee) in person, and it was great to chat about our common enthusiasm for Qiskit (and its socks).

2. Getting special access to Qiskit core members and projects

As an advocate, you will be able to ask questions to members of the Qiskit team and even find a mentor among them. Jack Woehr, one of our advocates, shared his experience of working with Qiskit developers to contribute to Qiskit’s code, highlighting how welcoming the team was, in his post:

“What matters to you, I think, is that there is an open project whose core team is staffed by some of the finest minds in the field, all of whom are as busy as can be, yet who are ready to welcome you as a fellow marathoner running with arms outstretched towards a new horizon.”

Jack’s words resonate with my own experience. Working on QPong and the Quantum Arcade project, I received amazing mentorship from IBMers James Weaver and Gregory Boland. I learned a great deal from them on how to create engaging demos for teaching quantum computing and on how to collaborate on an open source project with a proper git workflow. These experiences deeply influenced the way I now work as Qiskit Community Team member.

3. Being recognized by IBM

As an advocate, you will have the opportunity to have your work supported and highlighted by IBM. In fact, many advocates have become interns or even work full time for IBM Quantum and Qiskit.

Advocate Amira Abbas provides a shining example of this. After winning the Qiskit Camp Europe ’19, her project became a Qiskit textbook chapter. Because of her exceptional work on quantum machine learning, she is now a research intern at IBM Research Zurich and the host of Qiskit’s hottest new show, SuperPosition.

SuperPosition on Qiskit YouTube

As for myself, QPong was featured in the first episode of the popular Coding with Qiskit series on Qiskit’s YouTube channel which, I must say, brought me a certain degree of fame. QPong’s Quantum Arcade machine went on tour around Europe, including a EU Quantum Flagship event in Finland. Also, less than a year after I became an advocate, I joined Qiskit as a full-time Community Team member.

4. Receiving invitation to events

As an active advocate, you will be invited to global (physical or virtual) events created for the quantum community. Advocates Samanvay Sharma and Vicente Pina Canelles have enthusiastically shared their experiences of being invited to Qiskit Camps and hackathons which you can find here and here.

In fact, because of the high visibility of the program, you may even be invited to non-Qiskit events! I was invited to a quantum hackathon hosted by CERN after the organizer watched the Qiskit series’s QPong episode. As a physicist, visiting the birthplace of Higgs bosons was a dream come true!

Who can apply?

Simple. We welcome anyone who is enthusiastic about quantum computing and eager to grow the Qiskit community.

How should you apply?

I hope by now I have convinced you to join us! You just need to follow these three steps:

  1. Go to the Qiskit Advocate program website and find the application form.
  2. Take the advocate test. This should take about 3 hours depending on your knowledge of Qiskit.
  3. Submit application together with the answers from the advocate test by August 15, 2020 12:00 AM EDT.

Some details of the selection process

The selection process will begin after August 15, 2020. Advocates that score above a 70% on the test and are active community contributors will be accepted to the program after an interview. Community contributions can vary depending on individual interests including code, tutorials, textbook chapters, bug reporting, Slack support, blogs, videos, events, and more.

Let’s grow the quantum community together!

Apply here to get started: https://community.qiskit.org/advocates. If you have any questions, please reach out to us in the #qiskit-advocates-help channel on Qiskit Slack.

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