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over 1 year ago

Halfway Point + A Tip From Your Fellow Dev

You are halfway through the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing, congrats!

As we all know, learning is part of the challenge process, and with Alexa skills it’s no different.  Ahmed Shafei, creator of the Alexa Skill, “Movie Classics” and one of the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal finalists, has a few tips to help you on your skill-building journey!

“In many cases the development of an Alexa skill is like app development.  You should always start with the basic questions: 

  • Why? Define the reason why you’re building the skill? Why would someone want to use your skill? 
  • What? What is the core offering?  What is the main service/functionality your skill provides?
  • How? How are you going to provide that service? Define and map out the Voice User Interface (VUI).  

Once you have satisfying answers for those 3 questions, you will need to pick an Invocation Name for your skill.  The invocation name needs to be easy to say and remember. Many skills get rejected because the invocation name doesn’t meet the Amazon requirements.

At this point the technical part, the fun part, begins.  To begin, you will need valid accounts for and  Take a few minutes to register for free if you don’t have existing accounts.  Your logic will run as a lambda function in, while your VUI will be defined and mapped out in You will also be able to test your skill in the developer console. 

<<Click Here for Full Image>>

Remember: Convenience is king!!! Make your skill convenient and people will use it. 

Have questions: ping me at

Do you have a tip you’d like to share with your fellow devs?  Be sure to join the community and share it in the Slack Channel, we know they’ll appreciate it!

Happy Building!


If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.