JHolt` avatar image
JHolt` asked

Looking for Guidance on Skill Development

Hey everyone,

Looking into getting serious with Alexa skills development. Over the past couple of weeks I have completed the Team Treehouse introduction and the Codecademy introduction to Alexa. Additionally I have some programming experience with Java and C# as well as game programming experience. I'm looking to create a skill that would allow me to store specific, user related data and recall that data on request. My main question is as follows:

1. For a first time user wanting to store a set of data, would I need to use a different app/program/interface or could it be done well with Alexa? For example, if I wanted Alexa to keep track of an anniversary for me, I might want to say "Alexa, my one-year anniversary at work is July 10th. Remind me a week ahead of time." Now this use senario can be handled (in part or in whole) by Alexa's built in reminders app. But I am thinking of other cases Alexa won't do a good job of keeping track of.

2. Is it possible to access the time-keeping related functions of Alexa and have her speak up (for example, on a daily basis if necessary) related to that users data?

3. Finally, good resource are hard to find for budding Alexa developers. Can you guys recommend some good places to start digging deeper into this eco-system?

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1 Answer

KirkC@Amazon avatar image
KirkC@Amazon answered

Hi JHolt`

  1. While you could certainly make a skill to ask for or record a date for a user, you would not have access to Alexa's built in reminders. That being said, the ability for skills to send notifications has been a common developer feature request and we've pre-announced that this feature is coming soon:

  2. Similar to the answer in question 1, skill notifications are not yet available, but you can use the link above to sign up and be notified when they are.
  3. As for resources, we have posted several sample skills with step by step guides to introduce to you making skills which can be found here:

    In particular, I may recommend the fact skill as a good starting point:

    And the "How To" skill as an introduction to custom slots:

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