Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Building Alexa Skills Just to Mess with Your Kids

4:25pm–5:05pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Web services and APIs
Location: 212 A/B Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Developer Experience Track: Tools, Platforms, and Techniques, Technical

Who is this presentation for?


Prerequisite knowledge

I'll be using JavaScript for the back end code, but the focus will be more about the general interaction between Amazon and your code. Developers using other languages should be able to take what they learn from here and employ it elsewhere.

What you'll learn

What you need in order to build your own customizations for the Amazon Alexa platform.


Alexa, Amazon’s voice controlled assistant, has a developer API that lets you add custom functionality. In this session I’ll describe how to add functionality, describe what’s possible, and demonstrate how you can add your own skills (Alexa customizations) purely for fun. (Either with your kids, your pets, or your own personal enjoyment.) While the focus is on building skills for fun, I will cover what’s needed to release a skill publicly as well.

Photo of Raymond Camden

Raymond Camden


Raymond Camden is a developer advocate for IBM. His work focuses on JavaScript, serverless, and the web in general. He’s a published author and presents at conferences and user groups on a variety of topics. Raymond can be reached at his blog (, raymondcamden on Twitter, or via email at

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