Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fun Alexa Skill for Mastering Python Networking

I recently created an Amazon Alexa Skill called "Mastering Python Networking Facts". It went live yesterday. You can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0775562VH/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-skills&ie=UTF8&qid=1510067801&sr=1-1&keywords=Mastering+Python+Networking. It will give you a fun fact about the book Mastering Python Networking (Packt Publishing, June 2017) that was published earlier in the year.

Although it is more fun to use this on an Alexa-enabled device, such as Echo Dot or Echo, You can test the skill, and any other skills, without such device. You can use:

1. Web-based EchoSim, https://echosim.io/. Remember to sign in with the same Amazon account with the Skill enabled and allow the browser permission to use the microphone. Press the space bar to speak to the instruction and let go to hear the result.
2. Mobile App Reverb, https://reverb.ai/. Use the link on the page to choose the appropriate iOS or Android app. Remember to sign in with the same Amazon account.

After enabling, an example of the usage would be:
[User] Alexa, open Mastering Python Networking Facts.
[Alexa] The book has a total of 426 pages, more than 100 pages than originally estimated.  
It is a variation of the Alexa Skills Fact Template with two important differentiation:

1. The backend Lambda function is written in Python instead of Node.js. Only seems fitting that a skill on Python book should be written in Python, right?
2. The 'facts' were populated in DynamoDB table so the content is decoupled from the Skill itself.

In a later post, I will show you how to write the skill.

Leave me a comment of how you think the Skill can be improved.

Happy Python Hacking!