My first foray into the world of Amazon Echo skills included a lot of just acclimating. I had talked to my mentor about his favorite parts about using the Echo, as well as some more casual conversations with friends who own and use the Echo. I also tested the waters by asking if they would use such a calendar skill if i built it and made it available for use. At this point I wasn't entirely sure the capabilities that I wanted to include or the logistics of how I could go about making it happen - the idea had stemmed mostly from liking how the Echo made things that I don't usually bother with, easier to do (like checking the weather before deciding on an outfit). I maintain a pretty haphazard schedule - its either in bullet points scratched on whatever paper I can find or on the lock screen on my phone if its an urgent event. Nothing is every cohesive or orderly, not for lack of trying. My phone does a good job of taking my own google calendar for school, events that my friends invite me to, work events, and a family calendar in a manageable manner. But often times I'll only hear about school events after the fact when I see the social media documentation. And adding the school calendar to my own seemed too overwhelming, I don't want to hear about all events just the ones I would actually enjoy. It seems like a very niche dilemma, but it happens to be a solvable one. Running off of my frustration and my recent enjoyment in getting news and weather updates in the morning from Alexa, I decided to code a skill to enable the Echo to do what I want. From the feedback I got, a few things I'm going to keep in mind going forward:
- Play around with a bunch of skills so that you have a better understanding of what you like and don't like.
- Keep talking to people.
- Look into the forums of people who have done this before and are willing to help.
I have downloaded a few new random skills that sounded interesting, so I'm going to play around with those and then do a bit of reading into what exactly the developer kits will let me/ help me do. That seems like a good next step.