AlexaDev Tuesday: Where To Get Affordable Alexa Skill Training

Finding free and low cost Alexa skill training is getting trickier. A lot of the courses that used to be free are now pay-to-play, some have become stale-dated, and some have disappeared entirely. Today’s post is about where to find affordable (meaning free and low-cost) courses in Alexa skill development.

 

Training Videos

 

Note that I do not receive any type of payment, commission, or other compensation of any kind for sharing these links.

Amazon Tutorials: Free!

The Alexa Skills Kit tutorials section in Amazon’s Developer Portal offers options for those just starting out in Alexa skill dev, as well as for more accomplished Alexa skill developers who would like to explore different types of skills than they’ve previously created.

You’ll find links to tutorials that walk you through the process of customizing skill templates created by Amazon’s own Alexa engineers. The templates are heavily commented, and each is accompanied by a thorough, step-by-step procedure to follow. The process essentially consists of copying a vanilla version of a skill that was written by an Amazon Alexa engineer, setting it up in the developer portal, then customizing it to create something original. Available tutorials include:

Beginner
Fact Skill – Build a skill that serves up facts on a topic of your choice.
Quiz Game Skill – Build a quiz game skill and learn about speechcons.
Trivia Skill – Build a trivia game skill that users can play with Alexa.
How-To Skill – Create a skill that teaches users how to play Minecraft.
Team Lookup Skill – Enable users to look up your team’s contact information.

If you’ve already mastered the basics, already code in your chosen language at a level of intermediate or better, and you’re ready to take on something more challenging, you might want to try your hand at these:

Advanced
Calendar Reader Skill – Create a skill that keeps track of upcoming events.
RSS/Atom Feed Reader Skill – Use this sample to create a feed reader skill.
Audio Player Skill – Inspect a sample skill that plays audio files.
City Guide Skill – Build a skill that shares details about your favorite spots.
Decision Tree Skill – Take this sample decision tree skill and make it your own.
Interactive Adventure Game Skill – Use this tool to create an interactive adventure game.

Amazon also posts its developer videos online at YouTube. Click here for Amazon’s Alexa Developers channel home page on YouTube.

 

Dabble Lab Alexa Skill Development 101 – Free!

As of this writing (on 5/22/18) Dabble Labs’ online, entry level Alexa skill dev course, Alexa Skill Development 101, is free.

If this course should stop being free at any time in the future, try Dabble Labs’ YouTube channel. This is where Dabble instructors post their training videos, some of which are taken directly from their online course offerings. Dabble Labs also posts full-length tutorial courses there, such as Build Your First Amazon Alexa Skill (posted March, 2018).

Click here for a listing of all Dabble Labs’ training videos for Alexa Developers on YouTube.

 

Free Code Camp – Free!

Like Dabble Labs, Free Code Camp offers a lot of no-cost options for digging into Alexa skill development, as well as in general programming language education. They offer courses through their website and post their videos for free viewing on YouTube.

Click here for Free Code Camp’s Intro To Building Amazon Alexa Skills training video (posted September 2017).

Click here to visit Free Code Camp’s website.

Click here for a Free Code Camp’s home page on YouTube, where you can view a listing of all Free Code Camp videos posted to YouTube.

 

Udemy – Low Cost!

Udemy has long been the go-to for broke developers looking to expand their skills. Courses are reasonably priced, and you can view reviews and comments from people who’ve already taken and rated the courses. Don’t be alarmed by the 3-digit “regular price” shown for any given course, because Udemy has deep-discount sales very, VERY frequently.

As of this writing (on 5/22/18) for example, Udemy’s got a $9.99 sale going. It expires later today, but if you miss it you can be sure some equally bargain-basement pricing options will be available next month. Once you sign up for a free account, Udemy will email you whenever they’re running a sale. It’s not difficult to get courses for anywhere from $2 – $20 there if you wait for a sale, and from time to time a Udemy instructor will offer a freebie, too!

Click here for Udemy’s courses related to Alexa development.

 

With these free and affordable resources, anyone with internet access and a will to learn can master Alexa skill dev without spending a fortune.