How to become an Alexa developer: A cheat sheet

Alexa has evolved beyond the Amazon Echo into one of the hottest and most ubiquitous platforms in tech. Learn how developers and businesses can leverage the technology.

What you need to know to become an Alexa developer
Interested in developing voice-activated Skills for Alexa? Here’s what you need to know before you start.

The launch of the Amazon Echo and its voice service, Alexa, brought virtual assistants out of our smartphones and into our homes and offices. While the Echo is a solid product, Alexa as a voice platform is where the real value is.

After starting off with 100 things Echo devices could do, the number of available Alexa Skills now tops 100,000. With new devices in the Alexa ecosystem, including a new generation of Echo devices, a Smart Oven, Ring cameras, and the Echo Buds, Echo Frames, and Echo Loop, the places where Alexa lives continues to increase, bringing new opportunities to build skills that leverage those modalities. 

As such, the interest in developing tools for the platform has skyrocketed, with many developers eager to jump into the ecosystem. To help developers and companies better understand how to get started working with Alexa and its related services, we’ve pulled together the most important details and resources.

SEE: 21 technical Alexa Skills IT pros should know (TechRepublic Premium)

Executive summary (TL;DR)

  • What is the Alexa developer platform? Alexa is the smart voice assistant platform  inside the Amazon Echo smart speaker and line of smart home devices. Developers can create Skills for Echo devices using the Alexa Skills Kit, or integrate Alexa into an existing product or device through its API via the Alexa Voice Service.
  • Why does the Alexa developer platform matter? Alexa is one of the most popular virtual assistants available today, and it helped catalyze the current market for standalone, voice-powered assistants. It is also…