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Workshop

Hacking With Amazon Alexa

Learn to create your first skill for Amazon Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo.

Workshop Overview

  • Beginner
  • 1.5h - 2h
  • node.js, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Alexa

Learning Objectives

  • Understand Amazon Alexa and Voice UIs
  • Set up Alexa Skills Kit for fast development
  • Building your own skill with Alexa Skills Kit

Have a question?

Get in touch if you have any questions regarding this workshop or MLH Localhost.

About this Workshop

During this workshop you’ll teach participants the basics of how to build skills for Amazon Alexa to run on Alexa devices like the Amazon Tap or Echo. The provided content covers setting up Alexa Skills Kit, developing your first skill, deploying your skill to AWS Lambda, and submitting your skill for publication.


Build with Amazon Alexa

You can be a part of the voice revolution by creating new capabilities or skills for Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo and provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice. Examples of skills include the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer, and more.


Voice is Disrupting Computing

Voice represents the next major disruption in computing: The primary user interface for computing started with character based interfaces, then moving on to GUI, and later to touch screens. These inflection points seem to happen about every 10 years. We are on the cusp of the next one. The rise of the Voice User Interface, or VUI.

Requirements / Prerequisites

Participants will be required to have a computer that can connect to the Internet and run the following software:

System Requirements:


Participants should have a basic familiarity with web applications. If they already have an Amazon Web Services account, it would be helpful for getting started. During this workshop we will be writing an application that uses Alexa Skills Kit and deploying that application to Amazon Web Services Lambda.

Supplies

When you host an MLH Localhost activity, we’ll send you everything you need to run it. Here’s what we’ll send you:

The List:

Resources & Downloads

Sign Up for Amazon Web Services

Participants will need to deploy their applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda. This requires signing up for an AWS account. By signing up through MLH, they can get $100 in free AWS credit.

Sign Up

Sign Up for the Amazon Developer Portal

To create Alexa skills, participants will need to register at the Amazon Developer Portal, which is a free tool provided by Amazon.

Sign Up

Getting Started with node.js

During this activity, participants will be writing their Alexa Skills using node.js - while anyone who has written some JavaScript should be able to get started with this tutorial, participants would benefit from having a basic understanding of node.js and how it works.

Read

Getting Started with the Alexa Skills Kit

Participants should read this overview to familiarize themselves with Alexa Skills Kit, a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples that make it fast and easy for you to add skills to Alexa.

Read

Get Started

The hackers are waiting for you.


Have a question?