Alexa developer evangelists support the developer community by helping them build innovative, high-quality experiences and Skills for Alexa. Acting as a bridge between third-party developers and internal product teams, Alexa evangelists champion developer feedback that helps improve our products and features. To the developer community, evangelists are the trusted advisors who they can always reach out to for support and guidance through established digital channels, including Office Hours, Tech Talks, Slack, and social media. I have been fortunate to have a front seat in these efforts and feel a sense of accomplishment seeing how far this community has come.
It’s no surprise that as our developer community has scaled, so too has the innovation and impact of Alexa. There are incredible accessibility stories for blind and low-vision customers, and personal assistive robots to help people around the house. Alexa Smart Properties has invented an entirely new way for humans to interact with the places they travel. There are also entirely new businesses built on top of Alexa: Games, sleep sounds, hospitality management, and even on-the-go hardware solutions have invented new ways for customers to interact with their personal AI. In turn, Skill engagement has increased by more than 35% in the last year alone, and customers around the world have purchased over 500 million Alexa-enabled devices.
I truly believe it’s never been a better time to be an Alexa developer. It’s why we recently expanded our Alexa Evangelism team, bringing Emerson Sklar and Amanda Lange on board to ensure we’re best set up to help developers take advantage of Alexa’s momentum to their grow revenue and build sustainable businesses.
Emerson is no stranger to the Alexa developer community, having helped countless brands improve their skills and devices during his tenure at Bespoken and Applause. He has been a respected voice in the conversational AI community for many years, authoring numerous thought leadership pieces and delivering keynotes and educational sessions at Project Voice, the VOICE Summit, and dozens of other conferences. You can follow him @emersonsklar or connect on LinkedIn.
Amanda is our Developer Community Manager, and her background in Natural Language Processing and game development are what makes her so valuable to this team. Her time as a Microsoft software engineer, a college professor, and a community manager all contributed to finding her place in the Alexa developer community, and she is uniquely positioned to help this community and our Champions move into the future of Alexa. You can follow her @lita_gemini, or connect on LinkedIn.
What does that mean for me? Well, all stories, no matter how magical, have an end, and this is mine. After nearly 7 years, it is time for me to leave Alexa and Amazon and pursue a new adventure. I leave you in the incredibly capable hands of Emerson and Amanda—their excitement for what the future holds inspires me. I believe Alexa’s future is bright, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.