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In This Video
Don't miss our interview with Eric Reuthe, Vice President of Engineering, which has everything you need to know about working at Zapata and their engineering team!
During this video interview, Eric discusses:
- About Zapata and what they do
- About their platform - Orquestra®
- Details on Zapata's engineering team
- Cool projects engineers get to work on
- Work they do with customers to get them quantum-ready
- What to expect during the interview process
- About Zapata's culture
- Why now is the ideal time to join
- And more!
Zapata Computing is a team of scientists, engineers and businesspeople using quantum computing and machine learning to solve the world’s most computationally complex problems.View Company Page
About Zapata and what they do
So Zapata was actually spun out of a lab at Harvard in 2017. All our co founders are, you know, physicist and, and computer science people working in quantum specifically. And that, you know, led to, really the pursuit of trying to take quantum to the enterprise. And, and really, you know, lay the foundation for a lot of the company just having, you know, come out of academia, you know, we're a very research research oriented company. And, you know, a lot of what the engineering group does is take a lot of that scientific research and actually turn it into software.
About their platform - Orquestra®
So yes, Zapata is primary product is, is orquestra, which is a platform that actually helps facilitate the collaboration and research and move it into production. So, you know, one of the things that often gets lost and not only quantum, but the ML world as well is, you know, a lot of rigorous research is done. But actually getting it into the real world to use in an enterprise can be challenging and sometimes prevents it from ever getting there. So, orquestra actually encompasses not only a platform for, you know, running research workflows, and for hosting resulting solutions, but also algorithm libraries for quantum and quantum enhanced machine learning as well. So our scientists are constantly refining algorithms there and trying to make improvements on existing ones. And we're bundling those into the libraries that we offer with the orquestra.
Details on Zapata's engineering team
So the engineering organizations upon it, actually has two primary groups, the platform team, and the quantum software team. Under the platform team, we do have other teams working on UX UI, cloud provisioning, and then the core pieces of the platform. The Quantum software team is primarily responsible for our orchestra SDK. And for library development, which we call orchestral suites. And they are also typically former scientists, and, and heavy, heavy math users. So they are taking a lot of the lot of the research that our quantum scientists are doing, and actually turn it into working software. So it's smart as our researchers are, they're not always software engineers, and aren't familiar with good software engineering practices. So that's that group's primary responsibility is to take that science and turn it into enterprise ready software.
Cool projects engineers get to work on
So, you know, we're working on a lot of different interesting things, especially on the platform side. So, you know, Zapata is focused on really distributed heterogeneous computing, right? So, so quantum itself will not be a replacement for classical computing. It's actually an accelerator like a GPU or a TPU. Or we also have GPUs, ipus, FPGAs. There, there's, you know, analog devices and things of that nature coming out as well. And so the platform is there to help the engineers that are actually writing models to utilize those underlying accelerators. And the primary one being quantum is, you know, very good at speeding up computations for for certain types of problems. And, you know, we want to make it easy to use, you know, that as an accelerator within within a model that someone's developing. So, one of the interesting things that we're working on it is actually a universal scheduler, which helps us determine where to execute parts of a workflow across clouds across different hardware, and also manage where that data needs to be at the right time. And because we're, you know, what we're focused on is really Recall big compute. So they're computationally complex problems that we're trying to solve. And we really need to pay attention to optimization and in resource usage, latency and all those things. And the scheduler is going to help bring those things together. You know, what one of the other things that we're working on, of course, is our Q ml library, which is our quantum machine learning, you know, that that's going to have some uses almost right away. And we've actually made some progress in developing just some better classical algorithms as well, in that group.
Work they do with customers to get them quantum-ready
You know, one was actually Coca Cola of Japan. And, you know, they had an extremely complex problem, kind of, you know, what we term sales traveling salesman problem that, you know, was there scheduling of the restocking of 700,000, vending machines, and trying to get trucks and the right products to all those machines in a better fashion. And that actually turned out to be just a lot of improvements in some of the classical computing approaches. But that was an interesting project as well. You know, we're also working with companies like BP and BASF, to create quantum centers of excellence. And that is where, you know, we take our very talented scientific staff, and work with them on use case discovery, and the best approaches for setting up experiments and actually, you know, running workflows to help create solutions to apply to those use cases. And, you know, I may not have mentioned this before, but we have a for the size company that we are our talent pool of quantum scientists is quite, quite large, I think we're up to about 35, or 40 PhDs now. And they're a very impressive bunch, it was one of the reasons why I came to work for Zapata.
What to expect during the interview process
Yeah, so, you know, our hiring process, you know, it starts out fairly standard, we have internal recruiters that you'll speak to, and just make sure that, you know, everyone is aligned there. And then we have a coding challenge, which we usually do as well, that's just to get a perspective on how you tackle technical problems, you know, that it's not necessarily, you know, coding language specific. But it's really there to help us understand how you think and how you solve problems. And then the final piece is really, you know, just interviewing with the team. So you're going to interview with people that you're going to be working alongside, so your peers, as well as, you know, your, your engineering manager, or myself, in some cases, so.
About Zapata's culture
Zapata you have to remember that, A, they came out of an academic environment. And so we tend to carry that with us, it's a very collaborative environment. You know, we want everyone to contribute, we want to help, you know, promote those contributions. So, you know, we, we encourage people to, you know, ask if something is patentable and create a patent apply for that. We, you know, encourage people to write articles, published scientific papers, you know, our, our research group actually does that quite a bit. But even our engineers, you know, if they want to, if they want to speak, that they want to publish, we're there to support them. So it's, you know, it's got that academic feeling in that case. And, you know, like I mentioned before, we hire a lot of talented people, which means that they're all very self-motivated. And so we give people a lot of room to pursue things on their own as well. And, you know, we had an engineer a couple of months ago, who come from a large software company, say that this engineering team was the best team that he's ever seen, put together and that he's worked on. And that's, that's because I think, you know, talent attracts talent. And when we are hiring someone, you know, we, you know, do the, you know, technical Reviews, you know, as expected, but really, it's also about whether you'll fit in with the team because, you know, high performing team, people work well together. And, and we also want to know that, you know, someone's really going to contribute, if, if we feel like we're weak in one area, we want to find somebody who can actually help fill in that gap for us and, like, become a productive member of the team.
Why now is the ideal time to join
Yeah, so right now, Zapata. You know, I think that you know, one of the biggest reasons to work there is the talent pool. I mean, you are not going to encounter as many talented scientists and engineers, you know, anywhere, especially the startup, right, where, you know, you don't get lost in the crowd, and you can actually make a contribution to things that are truly cutting edge. You know, no one else is thinking about quantum in the enterprise. Really, right now. We have a lot of groundbreaking research going on. And, you know, we're constantly trying out new engineering concepts as well. So, you know, it's where the quantum industry is right now. And where Zapata is positioned? It's just, it's a huge opportunity. And that's, that's one of the reasons I came to work for Zapata was just, you know, seeing that talent. You know, seeing how great the people were. And also seeing you know, that we are early on in the quantum industry and, you know, we have the ability to make a big impact going forward the next several years.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai