Tom Hudson is a technologist, a self-described tinkerer, and the drummer in a rock band. He also used to fight forest fires for the Bureau of Land Management—but that’s a whole different story.
Tom works as the technology director for thirteen23, a design and development firm based in Austin, Texas, and he likes to spend his free time thinking about how voice technology will change the world. (Read Tom’s thoughts on thirteen23’s Medium page.)
“I have a feeling that for my daughter and my son, when they’re my age, it’s going to be such a different world,” Tom says. “This technology is in its infancy. And that’s an exciting place to be.”
Creating voice experiences for Alexa is particularly exciting, says Tom, because Alexa developers are writing the rules for how voice technology will be used in the future. “It’s like the frontier of this technology," he says.
Tom helped lead a popular Alexa skill-building workshop at SXSW in 2017. In just three short hours, attendees built skills that would build awareness for political or social causes. Several of the skills from that workshop are now available in the Alexa Skills Store.
Tom advises new Alexa developers to check out the tutorials in the Alexa Skills Kit. Then once you get your feet wet, start to think big, says Tom.
“Have an open mind about what you want to do, and shoot for something ambitious,” he says. “See where it takes you.”