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Simple Guide for Alexa Skill Development

Having a new device that allows you to configure it and teach it new skills can truly make your life easier. Thankfully, this is not any more wishful thinking because with Alexa, you can now make this happen. If you have an Amazon Echo, Alexa is the voice and the brain behind it. Because of this, it can perform specific tasks like instruct your cloud-connected smart home devices.

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Personalizing your device and teaching Alexa some new skills is actually not as complicated as you think. First of all, there are already some code samples available that you can start with. You may also refer to actual skills that have been developed and certified available at Amazon.

If you are quite adept at coding and want to develop your own custom skills, here is a simple guide.

Step 1 is to design your voice user interface. Basically, you need to identify how users will use and apply this skill. To do so, create a flow chart outlining the possible requests and outcomes. This is crucial in designing the specific elements. Afterward, you need to identify the actual phrases that the users will dictate when they want to interact with the device.

Step 2 is setting up the skill. This begins with registering the skill on the developer’s portal. You can then either use AWS Lambda or a web service with a different cloud provider to host your skill.

The next task, Step 3, is writing and testing the code. Those who want to use Lambda can use Node.js, Python, or Java. Those who are using a web service may code with any language. You would need to submit information like the schema and sample phrases on the developer portal to begin with testing. You can then perform the tests using an Alexa-enabled device or the Service Simulator.

The last step, Step 4, is submitting your skill so that it may be certified and can be used by Amazon customers. To do so, make sure that you fill in the updated data about the skill in the Alexa App. You may test it against Amazon’s submission checklist, which follows the actual steps done by the certification team. By doing so, your skill may be certified faster. After all your tests, you may finally submit it for review.

There is nothing better than having the option to personalize based on your requirements and needs. With your own special voice commands, you can interact and command your device easily and get the information needed or the task accomplished.

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