Anyone with an AWS account can flip a coin using quantum mechanics

An ion trap quantum computer.

Amazon recently announced its latest AWS offering: Quantum computing as a service. It’s called Amazon Braket (pronounced “bracket”). Last week it moved from a closed beta to general availability.

Here’s how you can run your first quantum program in just a few minutes.

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

The first thing you need to do is create an AWS account if you don’t have one already. Go to and follow the instructions.

Next, you’ll need to activate Amazon Braket by going to and clicking “Get Started with Amazon Braket.”

This will walk you through some terms and conditions, which you’ll need to agree…

When building a client-server application, the client and server need to agree on how to talk to each other. For instance, if sending JSON, then the client and server have to agree on field names and data types. For databases, the concept is similar; without a schema, the only information you could get back would be an ordered bag of values. Values are meaningless without context.

It’s easy to build the first version when the application is still in development. Coming up with an agreement on the fields and types of data is relatively straightforward. You can break things without…

Love them or hate them, coding interviews are often a necessary part of getting a software engineering job. The format used to be writing solutions to algorithmic problems on a whiteboard. Lately, with the pandemic, this has all moved to online platforms. Many people despise this part of the interview since the questions asked can be very different from the day to day work of a typical engineer.

For senior engineering positions, the questions are more challenging, and interviewers expect a higher standard. I enjoy this extra challenge and received several offers for senior positions during my last round of…

After I graduated from college made a promise to myself: I would never take a job where I got paid to write Java code for a living. I had seen the light with the functional programming paradigm and languages like Haskell.

I started working at LinkedIn in 2014 when my primary development language was Scala. Scala is a fantastic language, but LinkedIn had trouble scaling it across the organization. Therefore I had to go back on my promise to myself and I started writing Java for a living. Surely it can’t be that bad, right?

Well, I’ll be the first…

While working at LinkedIn a large part of my job involved doing code reviews. There were certain suggestions that kept coming up over and over again, so I decided to put together a list that I shared with the team.

Here are my 3 (+1 bonus) most common code review suggestions.

Suggestion 1: Throw an exception when things go wrong

A common pattern I have seen is this:

This pattern actually caused an outage in one of the mobile apps I worked on. The search backend we were using started throwing exceptions. However, the app’s API server had some…

The following is reformatted from a presentation I gave at LinkedIn last year.
The presentation attempted to explain functional programming without using concepts like “monads” or “immutability” or “side effects”. Instead it focuses on how thinking about
composition can make you a better programmer, regardless of what language you use.

40 years ago, on October 17th, 1977, the Turing Award was presented to John Backus for his contribution to the design of high-level programming systems, most notably the Fortran programming language. All Turing Award winners are given the opportunity to present a lecture on a topic of their choice during…

Steven Heidel

I develop software and develop people.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store