Practical Hands-on Guide for Alexa Skill Development (2020)
4.2 (482 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,009 students enrolled

Practical Hands-on Guide for Alexa Skill Development (2020)

Rapidly build & deploy Virtual Personal Assistants using Alexa Custom Skills; Master Conversational/Voice User Interface
4.2 (482 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,009 students enrolled
Created by Vivek Kapoor
Last updated 2/2020
Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 51 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Build Alexa Custom Skills to augment Amazon Echo's Strengths, with superior understanding of the core fundamentals
  • Deconstruct an Alexa Skill, and get clarity on what are Intents, Slots, and Utterances
  • Use Nodejs 10.x and asynchronous requests with promises, await & async functions with Alexa Skills Kit SDK v2 (ask-sdk-core)
  • Be more than just an Alexa Skill Developer - get the "Meta" understanding of how the pieces fit together - and be technology agnostic
  • Create "visual" Voice Interaction Models for Advanced Voice User / Conversational Interfaces
  • Try out Amazon Polly with SSML as well as Chatbots through Amazon Lex
  • Introduce errors, and Test Alexa Skills through 4 different modes including simulators and physical devices
  • Setup Security through Amazon's IAM (Identity and Access Management)
  • Program in Amazon Lambda (Serverless Computing)
  • Use Amazon S3's Storage API
  • Use Google Maps Directions API for getting Real-time Traffic Information
  • Monitor performance and debug errors through Amazon CloudWatch
  • If you intend to develop a skill, then a basic understanding of Nodejs and JavaScript
  • It will be good to have an Amazon Echo device as it will help in faster testing. Otherwise you can use a web-based simulator.

Get Meta & Practical Knowledge on Building Voice Interfaces (VUIs) / Conversational Interfaces

Suitable for Beginners & Power Users

  • Developers

  • Project Managers

  • Marketer

Course Highlights

  • Get an understanding of Lambda, Lex, Polly, S3 & more

  • Utilize Alexa Skills Kit v2 using Node.js 10.x

  • Build an Introductory Skill (for Reading out Quotes)

  • Create an Advanced Skill using Third Party APIs (Google Maps)

  • Get the fundamental understanding of how all pieces fit together and how a Virtual Personal Assistant works


Why this course?

There is a shift happening in the way we as a species communicate with machines. With the advent of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana, the focus on Voice User Interfaces or Voice Activated Conversational Interfaces is rapidly increasing.

This ever changing world presents a threat to the way we operate, especially when we do not understand it. A more AI aware world might be years away, but if we learn how to talk to and control the machines then we grow collectively.


The "Real" Goal for this course

Yes, Amazon Alexa and similar voice activated interfaces look and sound pretty cool. You can use the extensive documentation available with each interface to build out the skills.

However, just learning the syntax of a particular system is not enough. To mature as an individual, you need to gain the foundational skills on how these interfaces operate, and be technology agnostic when it comes to building these conversational interfaces.

The real goal of this course is to get you competent enough to understand the complexities that go behind designing and creating the voice user interfaces, so that you can immediately assess how different pieces of the puzzle fit together.


Practical Implementation of the Real Goal

No matter how much of the fundamental knowledge you have, if you are unable to put it to practice, then usually it is of no real value.

This course not only focuses on getting you ahead of others in understanding how a voice user interface works, but helps you build your very own uber cool personal assistant using Amazon Alexa, that can do what you can make it do.

Building a personal assistant using Alexa Custom Skills is just one of the techniques, and you will learn very soon that you can design a variety of interfaces through the knowledge that you gain.

Amazon has always been ahead of the game in terms of building voice interfaces, and you will be able to understand how you can leverage what Amazon has to offer to get you to communicate with machines effectively.


What will you learn?

By using Amazon Alexa, and building a Voice Activated Personal Assistant, you will gain the following:

  1. Understand what is Amazon Alexa and its ecosystem

  2. What are Voice Interaction Models, and how they can help you build a better and reliable voice interface

  3. Know the technologies that work behind a voice activated interface

  4. Use Amazon Services such as Lambda, S3, CloudWatch, & IAM and how they interact with each other

  5. Deconstruct an Alexa Skill, and get clarity on what are Intents, Slots, and Utterances

  6. Develop with Node.js 10.x and Alexa Skills Kit SDK v2 to build a personal assistant that responds to your queries

  7. Connect with Third Party APIs and process information, use asynchronous requests, promises, and await expressions in async functions

  8. Maintain data persistence within an Active Alexa Session

  9. Introduce errors, and Test Alexa Skills through 4 different modes including simulators and physical devices

  10. Leverage the Amazon Web Services to build a Consistently Reliable Architecture

You will get a complete checklist on what all you will be achieving, with code that is available on GitHub for easy access. The lectures will have links, files, and diagrams attached to them wherever relevant.

Even if you do not have the knowledge of Node.js, you will be able to fundamentally understand how you can build custom skills, and implement it in your own preferred language.

The sooner you get into building the voice interfaces, the faster you will be able to mould the machines to your liking.

Enroll Now, and begin to shape the brand new voice activated world!

Who this course is for:
  • Developers who would like to build and deploy Alexa Skills, and also get the "Meta" knowledge of how things work
  • Project Managers who need to know the building blocks of a Voice User Interface as well as an Alexa Skill, and how things fit together
  • Marketers who can leverage Voice User Interfaces to build superior experiences for their customers
  • Power Users who are interested in extending their Amazon Echo's capabilities, based on one's specific needs.
  • Curious Humans who would like to see Artificially Intelligent Systems that are shaping our world today
  • Anyone who would like to get fundamental knowledge on building next generation Conversational / Voice User Interfaces
  • Anyone who got inspired by J.A.R.V.I.S in Iron Man, and aspires to replicate it! :)
Course content
Expand all 58 lectures 05:06:43
+ Understanding Alexa and its Ecosystem
6 lectures 23:07
Rise of Voice User Interfaces
Current Abilities of Alexa
What are Alexa Skills?
Type of Alexa Skills, and ASK - the Alexa Skills Kit
Alexa Skill Development Overview
+ Overview of Technology behind Alexa
4 lectures 15:15
Amazon Polly and SSML - the Text To Speech engine
Amazon Lex and Chatbots - Brains Behind Voice User Interfaces
Serverless Computing - changing the conventional deployment models
Amazon Lambda - the Serverless Computing solution by Amazon
+ Build your First Lambda Function and connect with S3
10 lectures 51:12
Amazon Developer Portal Account Setup
Amazon Web Services Account Setup
Amazon S3, and First Lambda Function's Goal
Amazon S3 Buckets and File Upload
Create Amazon IAM (Identity and Access Management) Role
About Promises and Await Expressions in Async Functions
Create Lambda Function `takeS3backup`
Prepare Lambda Test Events to check S3 Connectivity
Upgrade `takeS3backup` Lambda Function to copy S3 files
Test and Verify S3 File Upload
+ Build your First Alexa Skill - Eva 1.0
11 lectures 01:10:38
Goal 1 - Make "Eva", Your First Alexa Skill, to Read Out Quotes
Deconstructing an Alexa Skill Statement
Pointers to building an Awesome Voice Interface
Designing a Voice Interaction Model for Eva 1.0
Preparing the Intents, Slots, Utterances and Data for an Alexa Custom Skill
2020 Update - Important Considerations
Configuring Eva 1.0 Custom Skill on Amazon Developer Portal
Using the Self Hosted Option - the built-in Code interface
Request Handlers, Objects & Builder in Lambda Function for Alexa
Lambda Function to make Eva 1.0 introduce itself
Extending Eva 1.0 Lambda Function to achieve Goal 1 of reading quotes
+ Testing Eva 1.0 - An Alexa Custom Skill
6 lectures 25:39
Lambda Test Events to test Eva 1.0
Developer Portal Service Simulator to test Eva 1.0
Amazon Alexa App to test Eva 1.0
Amazon Echo to test Eva 1.0
Introduction to Amazon CloudWatch for reviewing logs and debugging errors
Troubleshooting Errors
+ Eva 2.0 - Making Eva Useful by connecting to APIs & getting real time route info
10 lectures 01:29:28
Goal 2 - Make Eva tell you real time traffic information using Third Party APIs
Designing a detailed Voice Interaction Model for Eva 2.0
Get Google Maps API Key for Route & Traffic Information
Prepare Intents, Slots, Utterances and Coordinates for Route Information
Configure Eva 2.0 Skill on Developer Portal with New Intents, Slots, Utterances
EvaFunction 2.0 in Lambda (1/3) - Configuration and Helper functions
EvaFunction 2.0 in Lambda (2/3) - Handlers for GetBookmarks and Built-in Intents
EvaFunction 2.0 in Lambda (3/3) - Handler for GetRoute Intent
Testing Eva 2.0 through Lambda Test Events
Testing Eva 2.0 through Amazon Echo and CloudWatch
+ Taking Alexa Development to the Next Level
5 lectures 11:25
Advanced Options in Developer Console including Skill Publishing
Ideas - Enhance Eva and make it better
Ideas - Create Alexa Voice Service
Ideas - Build Smart Home Skills
Building a Consistently Reliable Architecture using Amazon