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Showing posts by Marion Desmazieres

November 08, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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Happy National STEM day! Have you ever wanted to get into coding but did not know where and when to start? This is your time! Complete the Alexa fact skill tutorial for Hour of Code and start building for voice, the next big thing in computing.

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November 03, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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We’re excited to introduce a new Alexa skill-building course for Ruby developers in collaboration with Makers Academy, a leading web developer bootcamp based in the UK. This course is offered for free online.

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August 10, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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Today, we’re excited to announce we’re teaming up with Galvanize to train Alexa developers across the US in 2017. Galvanize will bring Alexa skills workshops to seven locations starting in August.

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June 14, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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This is part six and the final blog of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read part onepart twopart threepart four, and part five

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June 08, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

careerfoundry_blog_voice_design_1260x650.pngWe’re pleased to announce our collaboration with CareerFoundry on the company’s first specialized course for voice, Voice Design with Amazon Alexa.

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May 25, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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This is part five of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read part one, part two, part three, and part four.

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May 11, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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Today, we’re excited to announce we’re teaming up with Coding Dojo to train hundreds of Alexa developers in person in the US in 2017.

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May 05, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

Makers-training-04_blog-01.pngThis is part four of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read part one, part two and part three.

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April 08, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

Makers-training-03_blog-01.pngToday's post is by Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy

This is part three of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read the first module and second module.

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April 06, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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We’re excited to announce a new beginner course by Treehouse. The “Build an Alexa Skill” course will help guide both developers and non-developers alike through the skill-building process.

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March 30, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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By Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy

Editor’s note: This is part two of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read the first module.

Welcome to the second post in our series designed to take you from zero to hero using Alexa with Ruby. In our first module, we:

  • Set up a simple Alexa skill
  • Set up a tunneled Sinatra application
  • Hooked the two together to say "Hello, world"

In this module, we'll handle variable data from users using slots. This module introduces:

  • Slots
  • Custom slot types

This module uses:

  • Sinatra
  • Ruby's JSON library
  • Ruby's HTTP library
  • The Numbers API

We’re going to build a fact-checking mechanism so users can ask for facts about particular numbers. Here are some things users will be able to ask Alexa:

Alexa, ask Number Facts to tell me a trivia fact about 42.

Alexa, ask Number Facts to tell me a math fact about 5.

Users will be able to choose:

 

  • a number (any number!)
  • a fact type 

Alexa will respond with an interesting fact about that number that is specific to that type of fact.

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March 23, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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By Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy

Editor’s note: This is part one of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit in this blog post

Welcome to the first module of Makers Academy's short course on building Alexa skills using Ruby. Amazon's Alexa Skills Kit allows developers to extend existing applications with deep voice integration and construct entirely new applications that leverage the cutting-edge voice-controlled technology.

This course will cover all the terminology and techniques required to get fully-functional skills pushed live to owners of Alexa-enabled devices all around the world using Ruby and Sinatra.

What's in This Module?

This module contains a basic introduction to scaffolding a skill and interacting with Alexa. This module introduces:

 

  • Intent schemas
  • Utterances
  • Alexa communication paradigm
  • Tunneling a local application using ngrok over HTTPS
  • Connecting Alexa to a local development environment
  • Alexa-style JSON requests and responses 

During this module, you will construct a simple skill called “Hello World.” While building this skill, you will come to understand how the above concepts work and play together. This module uses:

 

  • Sinatra
  • Ruby's JSON library

 

 

Let's get started! 

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March 16, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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We’re pleased to announce our collaboration with Makers Academy on a new Alexa Skills Kit training course for Ruby developers.

Makers Academy is a leading web developer bootcamp based in London, UK. Its highly-selective, full-time program teaches the principles of software craftsmanship. Makers Academy has graduated over 700 students into their dream jobs as junior developers.

We believe natural user interfaces such as those based on speech represent the next major disruption in computing. Now is a great time for developers to take advantage of this new form of interaction and to learn to build voice-first experiences for Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo. Makers Academy’s mission is to teach students the most used technologies in today's marketplace, and we’re excited to team up to prepare you for the future of voice computing.

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February 27, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

Champions_John_blog.pngA few months ago we introduced Flask-Ask, a new Python framework for rapid Alexa skill development created by Alexa Champion John Wheeler. Today, due to popular demand, John shares how you can deploy your Alexa skills built with Flask-Ask to AWS Lambda, a service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, which you can use to build serverless applications. Check out John’s technical tutorial below, connect with him on Twitter, and hear more about Flask-Ask in the Alexa Dev Chat podcast episode 10.

 

In our first post, Flask-Ask and ngrok were used to rapidly create a memory game skill and test it locally. This post shows how to use Flask-Ask with the Zappa framework to quickly deploy skills to AWS Lambda. As of this writing, AWS Lambda supports Python 2.7. This tutorial assumes Python 2.7 is installed on your Windows, Mac, or Linux system.

 

Zappa, a serverless Python framework, uses a combination of AWS components to emulate the WSGI environment on Lambda that Python web frameworks require. Since Flask-Ask is a Flask extension and Flask requires a WSGI environment, Zappa is the perfect fit for deploying Flask-Ask skills to AWS Lambda. To demonstrate, we'll create an Alexa skill that uses the GitHub API to return how many stars, watchers, and forks a repository has.

Let's get started!

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February 16, 2017

Marion Desmazieres

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A few months ago we shared a free video course on Alexa development by A Cloud Guru, a pioneering serverless education company in the cloud space. Today, we’re excited to announce a new advanced course on Alexa skill building instructed by Alexa Champion Oscar Merry for A Cloud Guru. As the co-founder and head of technology at Opearlo, a voice design agency, Oscar has extensive experience with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). He has worked with the technology since November 2015, designing and building skills for clients across a number of industries and use cases. He’s also been giving back to the community and sharing his ASK knowledge by running the London Alexa Devs meetup since July 2016.

In this Advanced Alexa Skills Kit course, Oscar gets you started with the ASK SDK for Node.js and shares a practical project that any meetup organizer can implement to use Alexa as their event assistant.

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