I am back!
It has been a long time since the last blog post, more than 2 years! During these two years, a lot of things happened.
I am now a doctor in quantum computing
The 27ᵗʰ of October 2022, I have been officially graduated from my PhD entitled Implementation, analysis and hardware-aware improvement of quantum algorithms for scientific computing.
A few years back, before actually starting a PhD, I was wondering if continuing in research and getting a PhD was the right call for me. Foreigners might not know this, but France does not give as much practical value to a PhD when compared to other foreign countries:
- The “Dr.” title is not officially recognised in your official name.
- Signing something as “Dr. Adrien Suau” or “Adrien Suau, PhD” is not common and will be seen as “bragging” by a significant portion of the population.
- Even though the French state is financially helping private companies to hire PhD holders, the salaries are often equal or below what an engineer would have.
- The luckiest PhD students are paid 50% over the minimal wage in France. If you are a PhD student with the most common contract in France, you are paid 17% over the minimum wage.
At the time, I had both a engineering degree (another French specificity, it is a Master degree with additional requirements and targeted for engineer jobs) and a Master degree oriented toward research. Being in computer science, I knew I would have no issue finding an interesting job with a nice salary. So I had the choice between:
- a probably nice and interesting job, paid something like twice the minimal wage, with a clear path to the future, a CDI (open-ended contract, basically a requirement if you want to buy a house) and regular salary rises.
- a fixed-term contract of 3 years doing absolutely amazing things, but with no clear path to the future (I will dedicate a post to the French academic system in the future), a salary 50% over the minimum wage (I was a lucky PhD student), no pay rise at all, and probably a harder time finding a job in the future.
In the end, I chose to try out the PhD. My reasoning was quite simple: “try it, and if it does not work out you will nonetheless be happy in your job as a software developer. Also, if you do not try now, you will likely have regrets and it will be harder to do a PhD once in a job.”.
I took holidays
After my PhD, I took 2 months of holidays. My motto during this time was: “do work if you want, but as soon as you want to do something else, do it”. Basically, I did not want to refrain myself from looking at work-related stuffs (the curse of being passionate about what you do at work) but I also wanted to take some time for myself and start things that have been delayed again and again during my PhD:
- Build my computer from scratch and have a workstation.
- Play some games (mostly “Zelda - Breath of the wilds”, but also some “Baba is you”, “Ori and the blind forest” and “The battle cats”).
- Sleep, take it easy, have some unproductive days.
- Read books, I started again a book I read when I was younger and loved: “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel”. I also wanted to re-read the “Ewilan” series from Pierre Botero, a French author, but did not have the time to do so.
I started to work on my own company
During these 2 months of holidays, a significant portion of the work-related stuffs I have done was to think about what’s next.
- Where do I see myself working? In the public sector? In the private sector?
- Do I want to go abroad and do a post-doctorate?
- Do I want to work in the research center of a company?
After sone time, I realised that I would love to work for myself, doing what I like the most: a little bit of research, backed up by a lot of scientific coding and numerical experiments.
So I started thinking about an idea that would, in my opinion, allow me to build a product that would be of interest for some people. And I think I found it!
I am currently in the process of developing this idea, building the product I envisioned and building a network of like-minded profesionnal that might be interested by this product.
But building a product from scratch is a long work and requires time. So in the mean time, before my product is ready to launch, I will do freelance-like missions helping companies that are interested in the field of quantum computing understand what the field might bring to their company.
The end… until the new beginning
This is now the end of this blog post, but a new beginning for this blog that will hopefully see more updates in the future.
Stay tuned, and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question or are interested in what I do!