Interview with Hassi Norlen

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Hassi Norlen is the author of Quantum Computing in Practice with IBM Q Experience, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey.

Hassi: Packt reached out to me to ask if I was interested in expanding on some Medium and blog articles I had written on quantum computing. As I had much more to say, a book, in addition to my usual outreaches as an IBM Quantum Ambassador definitely seemed the right way to go about this.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?

Hassi: This book took a little longer than expected to write, just over a year and a half, mainly due to the fact that I and my family relocated from the US to Germany, and that the Covid pandemic hit.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Hassi: Much of the content of the book was already integrated into my outreach materials, which I had been preparing over the year or so prior to Packt contacting me. The rest of the journey involved continued research to keep abreast with the rapidly changing and advancing Qiskit/IBM Quantum Experience front.

Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Hassi: Get your hands real dirty in what you are working with, following many many paths, even though they might not lead to what you perceive as your goal and what you are trying to achieve. The wider your experience, the more likely you are to find the gems that lead you to your goal. To use the old journalist adage: “Kill your darlings!” The solution or goal that you originally envision might not at all be what you end up with. 

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Hassi: The main challenges were a relocation from the US to Germany, and the Covid 19 pandemic that struck just after we had finalized the move. A very large amount of time that would otherwise have been dedicated to continuing on the book had to be spent on logistics, move, homeschooling, etc, etc. Nevertheless, I kept plugging away with great assistance from the editors at Packt. They never gave up and encouraged me on.

Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?

Hassi: In my role as IBM Quantum Ambassador and externally as Qiskit Advocate I have first time exposure to the rapidly evolving world of quantum computing, and specifically Qiskit/IBM Quantum Experience.

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Hassi: Start here: https://quantum-computing.ibm.com, https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/, https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/tag/ibmq/

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Hassi: Packt assigned me acquisitions editors, editors, marketing specialists, etc ongoing through the process. The communication across multiple channels, from Skype and GitHub to tested and true email worked flawlessly. They are accommodating regarding the author tools, from Packt online tool to work in Word. From the perspective of an experienced writer, I have to say Packt made a good team!

You can find Hassi’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Quantum Computing in Practice with IBM Q Experience – Available on Amazon.com