The IBM newly launched quantum developer certification program is gaining traction, as it is the first of its kind and provides a knowledge assessment medium for the quantum industry, especially for those that operate or plans to adopt BM Quantum systems.

Through the IBM Quantum Developer Certification program, the company’s quantum team expects developers to become certified in programming with Qiskit, a Python-based open-source quantum software development kit (SDK) which is integrated with IBM Quantum Lab.  Hence, those who receive this certification are presented to have a comprehensive understanding of how to program a quantum computer using Qiskit.

How to Get the IBM Quantum Developer Certification for Free

The Qiskit team has announced that it is providing free vouchers to the first 1000 community members as they take the test for the first time. This forms part of Qiskit and IBM’s commitment to building a global and diverse quantum computing workforce, supporting test-takers outside the US.

Those who are interested in getting the IBM Quantum Developer Certification for free are therefore, expected to be existing members of the Qiskit community and can apply for the free voucher through this form.

The team also plans to extend availability of the free vouchers in the future as more certifications are being built, hence, you can apply now for the voucher as a community member or work on being a member or advocate to benefit from future offerings which could include scholarships.

How to Get the IBM Quantum Developer Certification for about $200 (USD)

If you intend to fund the certification program for yourself or others, then there is a need to purchase the required exam voucher(s) from the Pearson Vue Market Place which costs up to $200 (USD) per voucher.

Preparing for the Quantum Certification Exam

As an IBM Qiskit Developer, candidates are expected to demonstrate fundamental knowledge of quantum computing concepts and be able to express them using the Qiskit open source software development kit (SDK), having experience in the use of Qiskit SDK to create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM Quantum computers and simulators.

To aid preparation for the exam, Qiskit team recommends that developers or candidates study the Learn Quantum Computation using Qiskit textbook, with keen attention on chapters 1 and 2. Then, review the tutorials on the IBM Quantum Lab, specifically those on circuits and simulators. Furthermore, developers are expected to study deeply on circuits, simulators, and other topics.

Here’s a recommended path that will help developers or candidates in there preparation as listed by Qiskit team;

  • Study quantum registers, including the difference between classical and quantum registers, how to construct single and multiple qubit registers, and how to measure quantum registers into classical registers.
  • Learn how to install Qiskit.
  • Be able to define a quantum circuit, represent qubit states, and visualize circuits. Also learn how to apply single and multi-qubit gates, use the barrier operation, calculate the circuit depth, and extend quantum circuits. Furthermore, be able to execute a circuit, and understand quantum and classical registers as well as
  • Have a good understanding of operators as well as fidelity.
  • Be able to use simulators to run a quantum circuit. This includes returning the histogram, statevector, and unitary of an experiment, which simulators are available, and how to access each simulator backend.
  • Understand OpenQASM and how to employ it in Qiskit. This includes returning an OpenQASM string for a circuit and reading a QASM file.
  • Know what backends are and how to work with them. This includes a general overview of the backends and monitoring the status of a job.
  • Finally, have an advanced understanding of how to visualize the results of your circuits. This includes drawing the circuit, plotting the data, plotting a Bloch vector and multivector, plotting a Qsphere, plotting a density matrix, and plotting a gate map with error rates.

Taking the IBM Quantum Developer Certification Exam

The IBM Quantum Developer Certification exam is a 60-question certification exam offered on the Pearson VUE platform with a total of 90 minutes allowed per sitting. According to IBM, the exam is available globally and served in English.

Those who successfully complete the exam must have passed 44 questions and above, having demonstrated experience using Qiskit to create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM quantum computers and simulators, and the ability to perform these tasks with little to no assistance from product documentation, support, or peers.

In conclusion, the IBM Quantum Developer Certification Program is expected to provide a measurable learning path for developers and stakeholders looking to prepare themselves for quantum computing in the future.