Alexa Dev Chat Podcast

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn


Tune in to hear Alexa's Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski discuss various aspects of Alexa, natural language understanding, voice recognition, and stories of developers like you who are building innovative solutions with voice. The podcasts feature Alexa news, developer tips, and interviews with Alexa developers and Alexa team members.

Alexa Chief Evangelist David Isbitski

Dave Isbitski, Chief Evangelist, Alexa and Echo

Dave has been a professional speaker, trainer and evangelist for over a decade. He has taught full-day courses on many topics including mobile apps, cloud, and the web. Dave has helped launch numerous technology platforms, frameworks, and programming languages across an array of devices at both Microsoft and Amazon. Dave is also an author for and can be found on Twitter @TheDaveDev and the Alexa Developer Blog.

Very special thanks to Drew Blanke, aka Dr. Blankenstein, for the creation of the intro and outro music used in this podcast.

Episode 24: The Voice Generation Will Include All Generations

September 7, 2018 | 47:45 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Theo Lau about how Voice can enable access to technology in previously excluded groups. This includes younger children who can speak but not read and write yet as well as older generations who have seen technology as a barrier. Voice enables all generations to easily engage with technology seamlessly, and naturally.

Episode 23: VoiceFirst in 2018, Where Are We Now

July 25, 2018 | 1:18:44 | Play Episode

Dave catches up with fan favorite, Brian Roemmele. The two discuss all things #VoiceFirst, how things are shaping up in 2018, is it living up to expectations, and what has us excited for the future. Brian is a published writer and has been part of the tech industry for decades. He is a well-known expert in the growing voice space and has written numerous articles around the impacts of technology in our lives.

Episode 22: Getting Started with Alexa for Business

June 18, 2018 | 41:32 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Collin Davis, GM, Alexa For Business at Amazon. Alexa for Business was launched in the fall of 2017 and helps makes it simple to use Alexa within your work organization. Collin and Dave discuss how the idea for Alexa Business came to be, what areas the team chose to focus on first (conference rooms, provisioning devices, managing users, custom skills) and what companies are building today with the service.

Episode 21: The Beauty of Language and the Art of Conversational Interfaces

May 24, 2018 | 47:17 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Pilar Manchon, Director of Cognitive Interfaces at Amazon. Pilar has a long history in AI and is fluent in multiple spoken languages. The two discuss human context, personal biases we bring, and cultural aspects of spoken language. What does all of this mean for conversational interfaces and what should be thinking about today in your own voice drive experience?

Episode 20: Building Community in the Era of Voice

April 24, 2018 | 39:52 | Play Episode

In the episode Dave chats with Pete Erickson, entrepreneur and founder of Modev. They talk about growing the Voice community through local meetups, what it really means to get involved at a person to person interaction level and the upcoming Voice Summit. They also discuss the lost art of writing and how you those skills are more important today, in the age of Voice, than ever before.

Episode 19: Looking Back at the Year in Voice and What's Next

March 8, 2018 | 49:55 | Play Episode

This episode reflects back on Voice Design in 2017 and what we might expect to see this coming year. Dave brings back guest Paul Cutsinger and the two discuss the rise of multiple Alexa device form factors, how can voice driven experiences take advantage of visual information and what does all this mean for conversational experiences. Are there lessons can we can learn from Mobile or are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? Dave also dives deeper into what game development and player engagements might look like this coming year with Voice as the game controller.

Episode 18: A Voice First Future with Brian Roemmele

November 22, 2017 | 54:14 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Brian Roemmele about the future of voice and conversational user interfaces. Brian is a published writer and has been part of the tech industry for decades. He is a well-known expert in the growing voice space and has written numerous articles around the impacts of technology in our lives. This is an episode you don't want to miss!

Episode 17: An Alexadev Journey with Noelle LaCharite

October 10, 2017 | 38:46 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with with Noelle LaCharite, Senior Technical Program Manager on the Alexa Machine Learning team. Noelle has helped customers across many teams at Amazon including Amazon Web Services and most recently as a Developer Evangelist for Alexa. Noelle shares her experiences working across all of these teams as well as insights into her highly engaged Alexa skills, including the popular 1 Minute Mindfulness skill.

Episode 16: The Amazon Alexa Fund and Alexa Accelerator with Rodrigo and Aviel

August 28, 2017 | 34:17 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with with Rodrigo Prudencio from Amazon's Alexa Fund and Aviel Ginzburg, Managing Director Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars. The Amazon Alexa Fund provides up to $100 million in venture capital funding to fuel voice technology innovation. The Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a startup accelerator created by the Alexa Fund and built around the belief that voice will fundamentally improve the way we interact with technology.

Episode 15: Creating Visual Alexa Skills for Echo Show with Jen Rapp

July 13, 2017 | 32:30 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with with Jen Rapp. Jen served as the Alexa Skills Kit product manager for developing the new interfaces Alexa skill developers use with Echo Show. She and her team worked to create everything from the new template layouts to the hint directive to the built-in navigational intents.

Episode 14: Voice Enabling Home Appliances with the GE Appliances

June 16, 2017 | 35:07 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with the GE Appliances WiFi Connect Cloud team who's taken an interesting approach to their Alexa skill. Rather than creating multiple skills for each GE appliance in your home, the team has created one super-skill named Geneva.

Episode 13: Creating Alexa Skills Using BeSpoken Tools with John Kelvie

May 17, 2017 | 33:41 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with John Kelvie. John is the CTO of XAPPMedia and one of the founders of Bespoken, a suite of tools that helps developers with building, debugging and monitoring their Alexa Skills.

Episode 12: Alexa Skill Certification with Sameer Lalwani

April 17, 2017 | 37:38 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Sameer Lalwani, Sr. Program Manager on the Alexa Skills Certification team at Amazon. Sameer shares best practices for getting your skill published as well as guidance for building more engaging skills for customers.

Episode 11: Alexa Smart Home Business with Zach Parker

March 24, 2017 | 39:36 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave catches up with Zach Parker, head of Business Development for Alexa Smart Home at Amazon. The two discuss recent product innovations, new customer experiences and current Smart Home industry trends.

Episode 10: Building an Alexa Skill with Flask-Ask with John Wheeler

February 24, 2017 | 30:52 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Alexa Champion John Wheeler. John is the author of the popular Flask-Ask framework which helps developers quickly create and test hig- quality Alexa skills using Python.

Episode 9: Alexa Skills with C# and Azure with Bob Lautenbach

January 24, 2017 | 34:26 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Bob Lautenbach. Bob is an Alexa skills developer who has published a bunch open source projects that aid developers in creating Alexa skills using C# and Visual Studio.

Episode 8: Alexa Skills Department on with Nora Kelly

November 15, 2016 | 40:01 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Nora Kelly, a Sr. Marketing Manager with Alexa, on how Alexa skills are ranked on, how skills appear in the weekly trending placements, how to ensure customers know your skill has been updated, and how you can interact with customers directly on your skill's detail page.

Episode 7: ASK Weekly and Alexa Community with Mark Carpenter

October 21, 2016 | 31:41 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Alexa Champion Mark Carpenter about his popular ASK Weekly Newsletter, the growing Alexa dev community and Mark's Talking Alexa podcast.

Episode 6: Alexa International Launch with Dean Bryen

October 6, 2016 | 30:31 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with UK Alexa Evangelist, Dean Bryen, about the Alexa international launch. The two discuss the developer community in the UK and Germany as well as how to use multiple spoken languages within your own Alexa skills.

Episode 5: Building Alexa Skills with .NET and Walt Quesada

September 26, 2016 | 26:45 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Alexa Champion, Walt Quesada, about his experience building Alexa Skills with .NET and the Alexa Skills Kit. Walt has also written a course for Pluralsight on the same topic as well as on his website.

Episode 4: Learning Through Experience with Alexa Hackathons and Paul Cutsinger

August 29, 2016 | 29:45 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Alexa Hackathon Team Manager Paul Cutsinger about the early Amazon Developer Day events, how they've turned into a formal Alexa hackathon team, and what developers are creating for Alexa.

Episode 3: Adventures into Alexa Skills and Tools with Galactoise and Chiaco

August 15, 2016 | 34:34 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave chats with Alexa community members Galactoise and Chiaco about building for the Alexa Skills Kit, creating an engaging Alexa skill, how to test and debug your skills, how they build an Alexa emulator as well as important lessons they have learned along the way.

Episode 2: A Journey in Voice and a Trip to the Starlanes with Jo Jaquinta

July 13, 2016 | 26:40 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave and Alexa community member Jo Jaquinta cover their early gaming backgrounds, how Jo built an Alexa Space Empire game, and what pitfalls he ran into along the way.



Episode 1: Building Smart Home Skills with Charlie Kindel

June 29, 2016 | 30:27 | Play Episode

In this episode Dave and Charlie discuss the launch of Smart Home Skill API for Alexa Skills Kit, give insights to some of their own history in Smart Home, talk about what solutions developers are building, and more.