We sat down with Toni Jones to talk about her passion for quantum, how important software development is, and the journey of continuous learning.
Why did you decide to get into quantum computing? What is your obsession with this field?
Toni: My background is in software development. In this discipline, you learn that software can be applied to just about any field out there. I’ve always been passionate about the sciences; the ability to develop software that brings scientific theory to life is super exciting.
Not only is quantum computing interesting from a scientific standpoint, but it’s also about creating a whole new type of computational tool. I can’t imagine a more exciting prospect for a computer enthusiast than applying their craft towards revolutionizing computing in such a novel way.
What gets you excited about how quantum computing could change the world? What is a problem you are passionate about that quantum computing may help solve-for in the future?
Toni: I had always heard that quantum physics was weird, and the more I learn, the more I am intrigued. With a foundational knowledge of physics, I think most of us assume we have a pretty good feeling for how most natural processes should play out. However, quantum physics takes what we think we know and flips it on its head. What we take for granted as “intuitive” can just be flat-out wrong. For me, this puts some wonder back into the universe. Luckily for us, quantum “weirdness” can be harnessed to work for us.
Tell me why you chose to work at Atom Computing?
Toni: What initially drew me to Atom Computing was my desire to work on new types of challenges, and apply myself to an interesting and impactful field. The size of the company, and the variety of technical requirements involved, enables a lot of opportunities for challenging myself. I also knew some of the engineers working at Atom Computing which gave me a great sense of confidence in the culture and quality of the team. Now I work with a phenomenal group of coworkers, spanning many disciplines. My respect for the team continues to grow and their passion for quantum is infectious!
What is one piece of advice you'd offer someone in high school or college considering getting into this field?
Toni: Everyone’s journey will be a little different. Never let what you do not yet understand scare you off. There will always be so much more to learn. Success isn’t about knowing everything. It’s about knowing the fundamentals, building on those whenever you can, and finding time to make learning a continuous journey.
Throughout my career, I’ve often been faced with new technical challenges. And while they are intimidating at first, getting out of your comfort zone is a part of learning. Instead of doubting yourself by asking “Should I know this?”, approach the situation as an opportunity to add to your expertise. Leaning into challenges is the best way to develop yourself and get to where you want to be.