Google achieved quantum supremacy

Quantum computer: Has Google achieved quantum supremacy?

It has been making quite a buzz in the last few days in the global news. It all started on 20 September 2019 with an article published in The Financial Times, a British economic and financial daily. One might be surprised that it is in this journal that a supposed revolutionary breakthrough in the field of mythical quantum computers is announced if it were not for Google. Above all, it has been said for years that these computers could easily break the codes on our credit cards, not to mention the fact that they could revolutionize scientific computing, for example, to develop entirely new drugs. 

In this case, The Financial Times reports a document written by Eleanor Rieffel, now missing from a NASA site but of which a complete copy can be found with the title Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor, concluding that the Quantum AI Lab research team, led by John Martinis, would have eventually reached the Graal of Quantum Supremacy. 

Would John Martinis have operated a quantum computer – which is not a universal programmable quantum computer that can potentially run any algorithm of reasonable size for its memory and computing capacity – to perform in about 200 seconds a calculation that would require about 10,000 years on a conventional supercomputer, of the kind available to NASA and which can serve as a point of comparison? 

Sycamore, a calculator and not a quantum computer

Google’s quantum computer would be called Sycamore and would have more than 50 qubits (54 precisely and 53 would have been used). He would specialize in the simulation of what is called a random quantum circuit capable of handling 50 qubits. A random quantum circuit is an assembly of a random choice of quantum logic gates. All this remains to be confirmed, and for the time being, neither Google nor NASA is responding to any media messages on this subject, invalidating or confirming anything as a result. 

If the results announced are real, a significant step forward would have been taken, but we would still be a long way from a real revolution. It should be remembered that it is always difficult to combat the phenomenon of quantum decoherence, even with corrective codes, which quickly makes calculations carried out with a relatively large number of qubits imperfect or even impossible. However, it would take a lot to beat conventional computers in the majority of the tasks where they are used. 

Moreover, we know that there is no guarantee that a quantum algorithm to solve a particular problem with a quantum computer, which is specialized in its execution, will not one day be dethroned, in terms of the computing speed it allows, by a new classical algorithm. It’s happened before. 

Who are the web developers?

As a specialist in IT development, the developer is responsible for writing all or part of the IT programs necessary for the smooth running of the website for which he is responsible.

The lines of code he will write translate into computer language the functionalities requested from the site to meet the expectations of the client and the Internet user. Who are they?

The types of contracts offered to them

As the job offer far exceeds demand, it is logical to note that the vast majority of developers (82% more precisely) work on permanent contracts and a full-time basis. The low proportion (7%) of positions on internships or professionalization contracts is also due to this shortage of talent: companies are primarily seeking to attract them but also to retain them, thus favoring the permanent agreement.

The developer: a mostly male profile

Although IT is becoming more and more female, the fact remains that the job of Web developer remains mainly male: of the 270,000 developers, only 12% are women! At a time of digital transformation, and at the very moment when a real shortage of talent is being felt, the lack of appetite of female profiles for these professions is therefore still as evident as ever. It is also important to note that 6 out of 10 developers (58% to be precise) haven’t worked work for more than 10 years.

The level of training required by recruiters

But what are employers’ expectations in terms of training for these code experts? We can see that more than half (56%) of recruiters are looking for developer profiles with a minimum of 4 years of higher education. We should note that the “Master Degree” profiles are increasingly in demand by companies. However, we can highlight the large proportion of self-taught coders (20%), proof that it is still possible, with a great deal of will and personal investment, particularly in the learning of the various programming languages, to carry out such an exciting and rewarding profession.

The most popular languages

Whether they are self-taught or the result of specific training, developers must have a perfect knowledge of the different languages used by companies. But what are they? In the list of languages most sought after by recruiters in 2018, Java is in the first place, with 27% of the offers studied citing it as a prerequisite. It is used in the Android environment and not the easiest to understand and control. However, many applications and video games use it. In the second place, cited in 21% of recruiters’ offers, is JavaScript, which is mainly used on the front end. These two languages are also among the developers’ top five favorites.

In these two rankings, there are other languages, popular among both recruiters and developers, such as Python (also known as one of the easiest to learn), C++ (widely used in the video game industry) and C# (mainly used in development on the Microsoft.NET platform). On the other hand, if SQL (primarily used in database exploitation) is in third place in terms of citation by recruiters in their offers, it is absent from TOP 5 of the programming languages preferred by developers. The same is true for PHP, which is mentioned in 16% of job offers and is widely used in web development.

Alternatives to WordPress: 3 CMS solutions to create a website

WordPress is today the most popular website creation tool in the world: according to W3Tech experts, 33% of all sites on the Internet are now powered by WordPress technology. While this content management system (CMS) has established itself as a global reference, there are some excellent alternatives to WordPress.

Below, we have therefore established a selection of CMS that are accessible to all, and that will allow everyone to create a site without any computer knowledge.

Drupal, an alternative for developers

Drupal is a CMS that was created “by developers for developers” and is therefore slightly more complicated to handle. Drupal is a content management solution that is intended for an audience with technical skills, and that’s why it may be less popular.

This disadvantage can also be an advantage: indeed, thanks to Drupal’s great flexibility, it is possible to obtain much more advanced results thanks to more advanced features. It will depend mainly on the technical skills of its user: if he is up to the task, he will obtain much more convincing results than on any other CMS.

Wix, a credible alternative to WordPress

If WordPress leaves very little flexibility to its users in modifying the basic model (without computer knowledge), Wix is a much more flexible – and much more efficient – editor. Today, it is an undeniable advantage in Wix that everyone will undoubtedly recognize. The company listed on the stock exchange has more than 109 million users. It offers a free solution, and its paid version provides a 14-day trial period.

On WordPress, you can edit your site at several levels – which can make the modification sometimes a little tricky. Indeed, we should note that design changes are not made in a single place and that there can therefore quickly be confusion.

Finally, if the significant advantage of a WordPress is to be open source and open to all developers, it is also a bit of a disadvantage. Wix is much more closed, but the features are not redundant. If we had to compare, WordPress would be an open “Android” solution while Wix would be more like “iOS” with a closed ecosystem. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Weebly, a reinforced CMS with Square?

Weebly offers a site template system that you can use to customize and create your site. Weebly keeps some advantages/disadvantages by leaving the possibility of being able to touch the technique (as with an HTML text editor, or the possibility of exporting its database to another hosting).

On the other hand, it may be regrettable that the site models are less aesthetically pleasing.