Unitary Fund

Because evolution is unitary .

unitaryHACK retrospective: Growing the quantum open source community one commit at a time

13 October, 2021
Unitary Fund Team

We'd like to thank our sponsors Xanadu, DoraHacks, and Pasqal for helping to make this event a reality 💖

At Unitary Fund, we help those interested in contributing to open quantum projects learn and practice the skills they need to do so. In May 2021, we organized unitaryHACK, a distributed quantum open source hackathon with 4k USD in bounties, physical and digital swag, and 20 participating projects. Working with open source project maintainers, we helped community members with a wide variety of backgrounds make meaningful contributions to their projects. Maintainers as well as Unitary Fund staff were on hand on our Discord to help out with questions about the quantum technologies as well as the tools they use like git, GitHub, and a variety of languages and platforms used in the quantum space (Python, Julia, Q#, C++, Ruby, etc.)

unitaryHACK digital swag
Digital swag for unitaryHACK, designed by Frances Poblete.

So, what did the community create?

Over 370 attendees registered for the hackathon, many of whom were new to open source contributions, quantum computing, or both! At the end of the two-week event, unitaryHACK enabled over 64 contributions, 26 bounties claimed, and half of the participants had never contributed to open source projects before. Established projects like Q#, QuTiP, SciRate, and PennyLane were featured along with more recent ones like Yao, QuNetSim, and Pulser, among many more. Some of the functionalities added resolved long standing issues, like one for QuTiP dating back January 2018! There were 3 new projects that were started as a result of this events, SciRate discord bot, Yao.jl examples website, and two new libraries for Yao.jl interfaces for the IBMQClient and OpenQASM), and almost all participants had not contributed to open quantum projects before, many of which are still actively engaged in the projects they contributed to as a part of the hackathon.
During unitaryHACK, we were super impressed by both the high quality of the participant's contributions, and also their enthusiasm — we've seen several become ongoing contributors long after the event! It's been a fantastic way to source applicants for our quantum software roles at Xanadu.

—Josh Izaac at Xanadu
All in all, it was a great way to introduce lots of folks to open source quantum projects, and grow the community of quantum developers. That’s all for now, but stay tuned to our Discord, Twitter, LinkedIn, mailing list, and community calendar and join one of the most influential communities in quantum technologies.
unitaryHACK results card

Would you like to help support future iterations of unitaryHACK? Get in touch with us, and we would love to collaborate!
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