We’ve been listening to the developer community, and one of the most requested features we receive is the ability to preserve your login status when using the Node.js authentication service. With today's update, the Node.js service will now save the refresh token it gets from LWA to disk.[Read More]
We are happy to announce a new Alexa skill builder, which provides a more intuitive interface for you to easily create engaging Alexa skills. You can also use this tool to build natural dialogs to provide more intelligent responses to user requests.[Read More]
We are excited to announce our new beta testing tool for Alexa skills which makes it easy for you to get beta feedback on your skill. You can now invite thousands of users to test your Alexa skill and provide feedback before you publish your skill.[Read More]
Today's post is by Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers AcademyRead More]
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.[Read More]
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:
In this module, we'll handle variable data from users using slots. This module introduces:
This module uses:
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:
Alexa will respond with an interesting fact about that number that is specific to that type of fact.[Read More]
We recently announced a new program that makes it free to build and host most Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The program aims to help you build engaging skills by giving you access to more AWS infrastructure beyond the AWS Free Tier. Here are five ideas for using AWS services to unlock your skill's potential.[Read More]
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 .
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.
This module contains a basic introduction to scaffolding a skill and interacting with Alexa. This module introduces:
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:
Let's get started![Read More]
We all hold interesting data in our heads. Maybe it's a list of all the action figures we played with as a kid, specific details about the 50 U.S. states, or a historical list of the starting quarterbacks for our favorite football team. When we're with friends, sometimes we'll even quiz each other on these nuanced categories of information. It's a fun, interactive way to share our knowledge and learn more about our favorite topics.
You can now bring that experience to Alexa using our new quiz skill template. You provide the data and the number of properties in that data, and Alexa will dynamically build a quiz game for you.[Read More]
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.[Read More]
A 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![Read More]
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.
The Alexa Skills Kit provides the ability to display visual information, both text and images, via skill cards. These cards are a useful way to provide your users with additional information from your Alexa skill that may be too verbose or too difficult to include in the voice user interface. Skill cards can be displayed in many form factors across different types of devices. This includes the Alexa app via iOS and Android devices, the Alexa app via a web browser, on Fire Tablet, and on the big screen while interacting with skills on Fire TV.[Read More]
We all have our favorite places. It may be your childhood hometown, an exotic place you visited, or even your college town. Regardless of why a city is your favorite, we all have our favorite spots to visit and want to tell others about, and that’s exactly what this new skill template helps you do.
This new template uses AWS Lambda, the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), and the Alexa SDK for Node.js, in addition to the New York Times Search API for news. We provide the business logic, error handling, and help functions for your skill, you just need to provide the data and credentials.
For this example, we will create a skill for the city of Seattle, Washington. The user of this skill will be able to ask things like:
You will be able to use your own city in the sample provided, so that users can learn to love your location as much as you do. This might also be a good opportunity to combine the knowledge from this template with our Calendar Reader sample, so that you can provide information about the events in your town, as well as the best places to visit.
After completing this tutorial, you’ll know how to do the following:
All published skills will receive an Alexa dev hoodie. Quantities are limited. See Terms and Conditions.[Read More]
Today, we’re excited to announce a new, free video series on Alexa development by Coding Dojo, a pioneer in the coding bootcamp space that offers in-person and online classes. These Coding Dojo YouTube videos will help aspiring and established Python coders learn about building skills for Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo.
Here is what you can expect to learn in Coding Dojo's Alexa Skill Training series:
Watch the Alexa video series for free on YouTube today.
Learn more about Alexa with Coding Dojo
In addition to the videos, Coding Dojo announced a new in-person and online class, as well as an Alexa hackathon that will train Python developers to create skills. The Alexa skill building class is available as a module in the Python stack at Coding Dojo’s 14-week onsite and 20-week online coding bootcamp. Finally, Coding Dojo will host an Alexa skills hackathon led by Amazon Alexa employees on February 20, 2017 in San Jose. Anyone interested in participating should contact Coding Dojo's San Jose campus.
Check out the full announcement by Coding Dojo here.