As the universe of IoT continues to grow at a rapid pace, our abilities to interact with these devices can be useful. As an added bonus, developing these skills can be fun too!
I’ll take you through my journey of developing my first Alexa skill in Python for Amazon Echo devices aptly named Happy Days. It is a random quote generator that delivers positive quotes. I’ll go over the skills of how to get Python to talk to Alexa and how to dump that code into Lambda for a seamless delivery between Amazon Web Services and the Alexa Skills Kit in just a little over 200 lines! Never developed an Alexa skill before? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either. I’ll provide plenty of resources to help get you started on a path you’ll never want to leave as an Alexa developer.
Building an Alexa skill helps:
Further develop your own skills in Python.
Gain familiarity with Amazon Web Services’ Lambda service which allows you to run code without provisioning or managing servers. BYOC - Bring your own code! (Python, Node.js, Java, and C#).
Gain familiarity with Amazon Web Services CloudWatch service which helps monitor and log activities with your Amazon Web Services resources which is helpful for troubleshooting.
Gain familiarity with the Alexa Skills Kit which is the platform behind Alexa development.
Learn about tools and resources you can take advantage of to ensure you have a meaningful development experience.
Learn how to “talk” to the Alexa Skills Kit through your Python code.
Helpful reminder that user experience is key!