Senior Staff Researcher - Languages and Compilers

Location: Remote

Team: Software

Type: Full-Time

IonQ is developing the world's most powerful full-stack quantum computer based on trapped-ion technology. We are pushing past the limits of classical physics and current supercomputing technology to unlock a new era of computing. Quantum computing has the potential to impact every area of human society for the better. IonQ’s computers will soon redefine industries like medicine, materials science, finance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptography, and more. IonQ is at the forefront of this technological revolution.


Just like with classical computers, quantum computers need compilers to take high-level quantum programs and transform them to a series of optimal instructions (only in our case, in the end they come out as laser pulses). We’re looking for a Principal Compiler Engineer to build a collaborative team to architect and deliver our next-generation full-stack compiler for our quantum computers.

The ideal candidate will have experience leading or contributing to multiple simultaneous product development efforts, projects, and initiatives. You’ll have excellent interpersonal skills, and be able to balance technical expertise and savvy with strong business judgment to make great technology choices. You’ll strive for simplicity and demonstrate significant creativity and incisive judgment.

Day-to-day tasks for this role may include design and implementation of compiler features and optimizations, developing code generation techniques for novel hardware platforms, mentoring and directing staff and working with hardware teams on future design considerations. In your first three months, you’ll be defining the architecture for our future compiler platform.



  • Design, develop, test, deploy, maintain and improve our quantum compiler stack
  • Ensure the quality of our compiler architecture through code and design reviews
  • Deliver world-class quantum circuit optimizations
  • Help hire compiler team members
  • Assist in the career development of others, providing mentorship on advanced technical issues
  • Help the industry define the next intermediate representation standards for quantum computing
  • Collaborate with experienced interdisciplinary teams
  • Help us continuously improve how we do things


You’d be a good fit with:

  • Master’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent practical experience
  • 10+ years experience developing optimizing compilers and scalable compiler architecture
  • 5+ years of experience with C/C++ or equivalent systems language
  • 3+ years experience in management and/or leading teams
  • Proven experience in compiler middle-ends
  • A passion for durable intermediate representations
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A love of collaborating in an interdisciplinary environment


You’d be a great fit with:

  • PhD in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or Quantum Computing
  • Code generation for non-CPU architectures (e.g. GPU, NPU)
  • Prior research experience in reversible computing, linear algebra, or related mathematics
  • Deep expertise in LLVM
  • Experience with Fortran
  • Experience with XLA, Glow, MLIR
  • A background in digital signal processing 
  • Familiarity with quantum information science



You will be the first hire building our new compiler team! You may be based in our headquarters in Maryland, or in satellite offices in Seattle, New York, Boston, Denver, or Austin. Our headquarters are located down the street from the University of Maryland. Our office is bright and open and a fun, collaborative environment, where we value each other’s unique qualities. IonQ is a five-minute walk to the Metro, which takes just twenty minutes to get to Washington, DC.  Currently, we are encouraging work-from-home with office and laboratory visits only as needed.

Our HQ is located in College Park, Maryland and we are a 15 minute metro ride from Washington DC. We have also recently announced our new manufacturing and production facility in the Seattle, Washington area. We are actively building out teams in the Washington D.C., Seattle and Toronto metro areas and will want to locate you in one of these geographies. However, IonQ will be expanding into additional geographies both domestically and internationally so don’t let this stop you from applying.
At IonQ, we believe in fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers. We empower employees to thrive by fostering a culture of autonomy, productivity, and respect. We are dedicated to creating an environment  in which any individual can feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued.
We are committed to equity and justice. We welcome different voices and viewpoints and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, and military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
If you are interested in being a part of this team and mission, we encourage you to apply.