Alexa Skills Development: How to develop Alexa Skills

Programming Amazon Alexa: How to develop Alexa Skills? With this manual you can become an Alexa Developer to develop and deploy your own Alexa skills.

The book “Programming Amazon Alexa: the Manual” is available at Amazon for $8.99. It gives a very detailed insight into the development of skills and is aimed more at beginners who can already program. At least one should have already made acquaintance with object-oriented languages, otherwise it becomes more difficult.

Programming Amazon Alexa Skills: the manual

What is this manual about? Here is an overview of the structure:

  • Introduction: Programming Amazon Alexa Skills
  • Alexa Development Environment
    • Here Alexa Skills are presented in their basic structure. Which essential terms should you know about Alexa Skills?
    • Furthermore, essential design techniques for skills are discussed here: What do you have to consider to create a good voice user interface? What rules does Amazon set?
  • Developing and deploying a skill
    • Here we go into detail and get to know Alexa Skills. What species are there?
    • Developing a skill for the first time: we get to know the building blocks of skill development step by step.
    • The following is a short introduction to Node.js, a javascript variant that is practical for Alexa Skills.
    • Creating an Alexa Flash Briefing Skill: we create a Flash Briefing Skill. It’s fast.
    • Programming an Alexa Custom Skill: now we go into the matter with several variants, Hello World, Connection to an API, Account Linking, Persistence, Routines…
    • Developing a video skill: what do you have to do here?
    • Last preparation in the Alexa Skill Development: Testing, testing, testing Alexa Skills.
  • Special topics for the development of Alexa Skills
    • Further information on the issue.
  • Frequently asked questions and recommendations
    • This book is just the beginning for most Alexa skill developers. What else is interesting?
  • The future and last words

The whole thing in about 240 pages. I had already started writing a book on the development of Alexa Skills at the end of 2017, and have been working on this topic ever since. In the meantime, Amazon has not remained idle and has changed a whole series of important things in the Alexa development environment, such as introducing the Alexa Skills Kit, enabling monetization, introducing templates, and so on.

At the same time, Skills are not just any small program, but integrated functions for whose efficient development one should have good knowledge of the AWS world. At the same time you have to pay attention not only to the technology, but also to create a good voice user interface … because Alexa often has no graphical user interface, and if she has one (Amazon Echo Show / Echo Spot), then you have to follow her own rules, which are given by Amazon.

All code examples in the book are online at Github.

Why is Amazon Alexa important?

If you combine this complexity with the statement that voice user interface design and development, as well as voice search optimization are among the big trends of the coming years, you realize that it is a good idea to deal with Alexa. An excerpt from my book:

“Voice First Speech Assistants Revolutionize Devices and Search”

“Language assistants have been used more and more in recent years. While the first step towards the so-called “mobile first” was already a step that changed the online world – and our own behavior – forever, the step towards the speech-oriented world of devices is another: “Voice First”. Further steps will lead to the increased use of artificial intelligence in everyday life, which can be easily combined with speech assistants.

Language assistants are therefore taken seriously by the tech giants in Silicon Valley. Google, which earns about 90% of its revenue from Internet searches, announced in 2017 that about 60% of all search queries came from mobile devices, and of these about 20% came via voice. Voice requests at Google are increasing by around 50% per year in absolute terms, which is also due to the availability of the assistants in the smartphones, more and more end devices are “wizard-ready”. Amazon, too, reports high growth rates with the lead of first-time users in dedicated devices for language assistants.”

Where can I buy the manual for Alexa Skill Development?

The manual “Programming Alexa Skills” is available online at amazon for $8.99.

You can also click on the book’s cover:

how to develop and build alexa skills book