Alexa Events, My Experience

Submitted by Peter on Sat, 06/03/2017 - 17:34

Amazon is regularly posting new events to help developers get to grips with creating Alexa skills as well as using the AWS service. A couple of days ago I attended 1 such event entitled Hello Alexa held at Codebase over in Edinburgh. To be honest I did not know what to expect. The day was presented by the Principal Alexa EU Evangelist over at Amazon, a guy named David Low.

David clearly loved what he was doing and took us through some key concepts. Most of these I was already familiar with but useful none the less (sometimes better hearing from an expert to at least cement knowledge). As well as covering key concepts such as invocation names, sample utterances, slots (this was based on the new designer tool) and the certification process David also covered the basics of creating a skill using Lambda. I know personally skills that I have made previously were utilizing a self-hosted solution (with PHP being my language if choice) as I have been a bit overwhelmed by the Lambda service however to my surprise it was actually fairly easy once you got into it, 

To help cement the knowledge a part of the day was invested in creating some basic skills such as a hello world type skill, a skill that uses persistent data and lastly a fact skill. Each of these were super easy to create and were up and running very quickly (I actually submitted a skill while at the event, although due to my own typos it failed certification originally, the skill is now on both the US and UK site).

What made the day even better was the price of the event. Apart from the cost of getting to the event, it was absolutely free. Amazon is currently really pushing to help creators develop Alexa Skills and I would say if you work for a company looking to create skills or you have an interest in the technology yourself be sure to attend such an event. You can find them listed on the events page.