Build an Alexa Skill for the Amazon Echo

“Alexa, add bread to my shopping list.” “Alexa, what is my flash news briefing?” “Alexa, what is BCNET?” In December 2017, Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo into Canada. Echo connects to Alexa – a cloud-based voice service – to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, and more – instantly.

At BCIT, the School of Computing has teamed up with the School of Nursing to create Alexa skills that deliver a patient’s blood and diagnostic test results to Amazon Echo Shows located in the nursing simulation labs. BCIT is also planning to locate Amazon Echoes around its Burnaby campus to provide a variety of skills to both visitors and students alike. What skills might be useful for visitors and students on your campus?

In this workshop, you will learn how to develop an Alexa skill for the Amazon Echo using the Alexa Skills Kit. All you need to participate in this workshop are three things: a) a laptop with a built-in microphone and speakers, b) an AWS account, and c) knowledge of at least one of the following programming languages: Node.js (JavaScript), Python, Java or C#. Node.js and Python will be used in the workshop. Skill development will be done entirely online.

Note: There will be no slides provided for this session.


Artur Rodrigues

Sr. Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services

Dr. Bill Klug

Cloud Computing Option Head & Instructor, British Columbia Institute of Technology