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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Quantum Computing and Q# Blog

Lost? Confused? Don't know where to start with all this Quantum computing stuff?

This post is intended to function as a start page/guide to help you navigate your way through the various Quantum Computing and Q# posts hosted here on the Faculty blog (

Q# is Microsoft’s new quantum-focused language, designed to bring the full developer experience to the quantum sphere. Q# comes with all the features you’d expect from a fully-fledged language (functions, loops, variables…), along with a fully-fledged developer environment in Visual Studio and even a quantum simulator!

Q# and the QDK are fully platform agnostic – that is to say, they are designed to work with any physical implementation of a quantum computer, not restricted to Microsoft’s topological qubit approach. Quantum programs are orchestrated and run using a classical computer (the driver), leveraging the quantum system (be it simulated or physical) when required to speed things up/do funky quantum stuff – much in the same way that we currently use GPUs to speed up the solution of machine learning problems.

Watch this space for a detailed look at what topological qubits are exactly and why we should care – blog post coming soon Further information on Q#, topological qubits and the QDK can be found here.

This blog is written by Anita Ramanan and Frances Tibble, both software engineers at Microsoft. The blog is split into two complementary tracks – Frances' posts are focused on getting you up and running quickly with Q# and the QDK, whereas Anita's posts aim to provide deeper background on concepts in quantum computing, plus how these translate to Q#.

The Story So Far

(roughly in suggested reading order)

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Quantum Computing and Q# (Frances)
  • Introduction to Quantum Computing (Anita)
  • Quantum Gates and Circuits: The Crash Course (Anita)

The Road Ahead

Like anything quantum, there’s a degree of uncertainty here – future posts may change!

  • Quantum Teleportation (Frances)
  • An Aside: Pure and Mixed States (Anita)
  • Quantum Computing: Quick Reference Guide (Anita)
  • Getting to Grips with the Quantum Fourier Transform (Anita)
  • An Aside: Some Important Science Bits (Anita)
    • Gates & the associated maths
    • Matrix transformations
  • Quantum Computing in the Real World (several posts) (Anita)
  • Measurement (Frances)
  • Simple Algorithms (Frances)
  • Quantum Algorithms – one post per algorithm (Frances and Anita)
    • Database Search (Frances)
    • Integer Factorisation (Frances)
    • To be continued…
  • Characterisation and Testing Samples (Frances)
  • Hamiltonian Simulation Samples (Frances)

Awesome Sources of Information

  • Microsoft Quantum
  • Microsoft Quantum Development Kit
  • Microsoft Quantum Blog
  • Neilsen & Chuang’s book: Quantum Computation and Quantum Information
  • Leonard Susskind’s excellent series of introductory lectures on quantum mechanics (complete with recordings on YouTube)

About the Authors

Anita graduated from University College London in 2014 with an MSci in Natural Sciences: Atomic and Particle Physics and Physical Chemistry (TL;DR: Quantum Mechanics).

Since then, she has been working at Microsoft and is now a Software Engineer focusing on the Internet of Things (particularly as it relates to healthcare), Xamarin, Power BI and now Quantum Computing.

Frances graduated with a degree in Computing from Imperial College London having completed a final year project with Microsoft Research.

Frances now works as a Software Engineer for Microsoft focusing on Machine Learning and High Scale Data… and as of these blog posts, Quantum Computing.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Quantum Computing and Q# Blog


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