We’re excited to introduce our new self-paced skill-building course called Cake Walk: Build an Engaging Alexa Skill. This free course offers step-by-step guidance on how to build a high-quality Alexa skill from start to finish. New skill builders will learn how to build their first skill in 5 minutes. Experienced developers will learn how to add advanced features like memory to deliver a more personalized and conversational voice experience. When you complete the course, you'll have the foundational knowledge of voice design, skill programming, and development tools to help you build high-quality Alexa skills your customers will enjoy.
Learn How to Design and Implement a Voice Experience
While anyone can quickly build an Alexa skill, there’s a lot to consider to build an engaging voice experience. Having a compelling voice idea is important, but so is implementation. A great skill idea implemented poorly will make it challenging for your skill to gain traction and retain customers. Before you start turning your voice idea into an Alexa skill, we recommend taking the time to learn how to design a voice experience, how to build a voice user interface, and how to leverage skill-building tools. We designed the Cake Walk course to teach you these concepts so you can design and implement an engaging skill.
Cake Walk is a simple sample skill that enables Alexa to count down the days until your birthday. Cake Walk will also deliver a happy birthday message on your special day. Throughout the course, you’ll learn how to build your own version of Cake Walk, from the basic voice design and implementation to adding advanced features like persistence and memory.
The course offers an introduction to voice design concepts and four skill-programming modules:
- Create a skill in 5 minutes
- Collect slots turn by turn
- Add memory to Cake Walk
- Use the Settings API to get the time zone
If you’re new to skill building, we recommend starting from the introduction. If you already know the basics and want to add memory to your skill, you can skip ahead to the section on using persistent attributes. Each module includes the code you need to get started and step-by-step instructions to apply the code.
What You'll Learn
By completing the course, you’ll understand the components of voice design, skill programming, and tooling to help you build engaging skills. You’ll learn how to use the Alexa Developer Console to create and test your skill. You’ll also learn how to use Alexa-hosted skills to host your skill’s back end. The course introduces the core concepts of voice design and how to program your back end using the Alexa Skills Kit Software Development Kit for Node.js.
You’ll also learn how to leverage important Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) features like:
- Intents, utterances, and slots to build a voice user interface
- Auto delegation to have the skill automatically prompt for missing information
- ASK Software Development Kit for Node.js to handle requests sent to your skill
- Persistent attributes with Amazon S3 to remember information
- Alexa Settings API to look up the time zone
More Training Opportunities to Enhance Your Alexa Skills
Once you’ve completed this course, we recommend you continue your learning by checking out these additional training materials:
- Designing for Conversation Course: Learn how to design more dynamic and conversational experiences.
- Alexa Design Guide: Learn the principles of situational voice design so that you can create voice-first skills that are natural and user-centric.
- How to Shift from Screen-First to Voice-First Design: Learn about the four design patterns that make voice-first experiences engaging.
Get Started with Cake Walk
The self-paced course is free and available for anyone ready to build Alexa skills. Click here to get started. And please tell us what you think! Reach out to me on Twitter at @SleepyDeveloper to share your comments and feedback.
Source: Alexa Developer Blog