4 videos that cover every aspect of building an Alexa Skill

Jeff Blankenburg May 23, 2023
Alexa Skills

Ready to discover what it takes to build skills with Alexa, and bring your idea to life? Our new video series has you covered. 

From covering the fundamentals of coding all the way to certification and optimizing your skill, Alexa Chief Technical Evangelist Jeff Blankenburg breaks down the steps you need to know to craft leading voice experiences. 

Let’s take a closer look at the insights you can expect from each video.

Part 1: Understanding Alexa skills 

What are Alexa skills? In the first video, you’ll get an introduction to skills and an outline of the resources designed to help you develop voice experiences that keep users engaged. 

Follow along as Jeff illustrates how to get the conversation between your code and users started. Then, learn how to keep growing your toolkit with tutorials from Alexa Learning Lab, comprehensive technical documentation, the developer community on Slack, and more. 

Part 2: Capturing a user’s intent

After learning about the basics of Alexa, it’s time to get down to the details. Part 2 of the series gives you an up-close view of building the front-end of Alexa skills and shows you how to navigate the key features of the developer console.

With guidance on naming conventions, hosting, and designing your interaction model, you can see the process of building a custom skill from scratch. You’ll also learn how to design, structure, and test a skill's voice model—including options to leverage tools like Visual Studio Code —to capture relevant user scenarios that your skill should handle.

Part 3: Responding to your user

Now that you’ve learned about interaction models, it’s time to write the conversations that your skill will have with users.

Part 3 teaches you to code the back-end of Alexa skills and handle user requests—laying the groundwork for you to add interesting capabilities and deliver a highly responsive experience. 

At this stage of the tutorial, you’ll also get an up-close view of the ResponseBuilder, learn about the option to provide a reprompt, and see how to use the test tab to view your code in action.

Want to get an up-close view of the coding fundamentals covered in this video? Check out our Alexa Learning Lab course dedicated to skill building basics.

Part 4: Certifying, publishing, and improving your skill

Finally, it’s time to bring your skill to the world. Part 4 covers the steps involved with distribution, certification, analytics, and adding features.

The certification process might appear daunting, but it opens up new opportunities to optimize your skill for launch and avoid missteps that can hinder user discovery. Follow along as Jeff details crucial pieces of distribution like example phrases, plus useful tools such as beta testing your skill to a curated audience. 

These last steps also offer the chance to add features that can help you drive higher engagement and monetize skills. As Jeff explains, utilizing in-skill purchasing and subscription programs can help you build recurring revenue while the Alexa Routines Kit gives you a way to make your skill an active part of users’ daily lives. 

Find the full playlist of getting started videos here, then start building today. Plus, don’t forget to tune in to our weekly Office Hours sessions for the latest Alexa insights from voice leaders.

Recommended Reading

Getting started with Alexa: Integrating documents created in the APL authoring tool or APL Ninja with your Lambda function
Alexa Champion Tom Hewitson explains how to come up with the perfect idea for your new Alexa skill
Earn money with an Alexa Skill