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Prep for the AWS Alexa specialty certification with an Alexa Champion

By Kesha Williams  |  December 09, 2019  |   Certification News AWS Alexa   |  
Learn to build engaging voice experiences using advanced features of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), and prepare for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder - Specialty exam

As an Alexa Champion and an active member of the Alexa developer community, I’ve always sought ways to bring Alexa to more developers. I enjoy introducing Alexa skill development through hands-on workshops, hackathons, and speaking at technical conferences. Throughout my 20+ year career as a software engineer, I’ve built many different types of applications; I can say without a doubt that developing for Alexa has been the most fun. There’s a lot of creativity that goes into teaching Alexa a new skill and an unparalleled sense of “coolness” that comes along with working with artificial intelligence (AI).

My latest endeavor to educate and inspire other developers in the community is a prep course for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty exam with A Cloud Guru. I’m super excited about offering this course because I’ve designed it to not only give skill builders the confidence needed to pass the exam but to become a top-tier Alexa skill builder using the AWS ecosystem and advanced features of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

This course meets you where you are on your learning journey; don’t worry if you’ve never developed for Alexa before. Through hands-on labs, you will develop a brand-new skill and add features to it along the way as new concepts are introduced.

We start at the very beginning by first teaching you about the AI behind Alexa and how the voice service works. I will show you the tools you’ll need for development and help you get your local development environment setup. Then, I take you through the design process for a brand-new skill, which includes voice design patterns and best practices for building engaging skills.

Next, we deep-dive on skill architecture as I teach you how to leverage the AWS ecosystem to develop your skill. Specifically, we will cover the common services used to build a custom skill from scratch: AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Next, I will teach you how to leverage advanced features from the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), which includes visual elements, sound effects, audio and video, dialog and state management, monetization, and personalization.

I will also teach you how to configure your skills using the Alexa Developer Console. I even show you testing and troubleshooting techniques using the Test Simulator and Amazon CloudWatch.

We wrap up with me walking you through the skill certification and publishing process. I’ll show you how to make the Alexa skill you develop during the hands-on labs available to others through the Alexa Skills Store. By the time the course is over, you will have developed and published your first skill!

This course is the perfect way to help you prepare for the exam and learn how to build engaging voice experiences for Alexa. So, why not get started building for voice and earn your certification today. See you inside the course!

Bonus: Take the $300 exam for free!
In December, US-based gurus can snag a voucher to cover the cost of the exam (a $300 value) from AWS. Check out my post on the Amazon Alexa blog for all the details.

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Kesha Williams is an Alexa Champion, AWS Machine Learning Hero, and technical instructor with A Cloud Guru. She has developed several popular Alexa skills—Word Jumble and Phone Tracker to name a few. She was featured as one of Amazon’s Women of Voice and was among the first in the industry to be certified as an Alexa skill builder. In her spare time, she serves on the executive board of VoiceFirst.Community and mentors women in tech.

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