Amazon is partnering with Galvanize — a 21st-century school for entrepreneurs, engineers, and data scientists — to offer Alexa Skills development workshops that will teach small developers and startups how to build skills for Amazon Alexa, the operating system for smart speaker Echo. According to news from Small Business Trends, with Amazon’s Echo holding more than 70 percent of the voice-controlled speaker market, users and businesses will want to integrate the technology to improve their operations. With that in mind, Amazon wants to give startups the skill sets they need to do just that.
While small businesses are already using Alexa to order supplies, set reminders, manage to-do lists, control office equipment and more, they can also create skills (there are currently more than 15,000) to provide their own customers with certain services, much like business apps created for a mobile device.
The Alexa Skills Kit is the tool box used to build those skills, and it has self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples to easily and quickly create new skills for Alexa. An example of a skill is the one created for Domino’s Pizza, which allows customers to order a pizza and have Alexa update them on the status of the delivery.
The instructors at Galvanize have been trained by Amazon Alexa experts. Once you have been certified, your skill set gets published in the Alexa Skills Store, where millions of potential customers can seek your services, and you will be able to build a voice user interface (VUI) to create an Alexa skill.
The free Alexa skills development workshops will be available beginning in late August in seven locations: Phoenix, Denver, New York City, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco and Boulder. There will be additional locations added for the remainder of the year. The half-day skills session doesn’t require any tech development experience, so anyone can attend.
Participants can register or get more information on the Galvanize site.