When Amazon teamed with Galvanize to train Alexa developers, they made a great choice.

The first of these workshops was presented by Galvanize Phoenix on August 26, 2017 – just 2 weeks after the announcement was made. Hats off to Chris Huie, John Armbruster, and the rest of the Galvanize Phoenix team for pulling off a successful workshop.

I have a passion to help developers and designers succeed with Amazon Alexa development. I know what it is like to hit the learning curve of Alexa development and AWS after facing it a year ago after decades of development with Microsoft technology. It is the reason I started the Phoenix Alexa Meetup, why I have been so involved with the developer community, and the main reason that I was selected in May 2017 to be an Alexa Champion. It is also the reason that I volunteered to be a resource and help at the recent Alexa Workshop at Galvanize.

There were approximately 40 participants who showed up for the Saturday morning workshop and that was without any real promotion for the event. Originally, there was only going to be one classroom but after bringing in more tables it was decided that Chris and John would split the attendees into two groups. I spent most of the time in the classroom with John and he did a wonderful job presenting the course material. He knows software development and is very approachable. When I visited Chris’s class a little later, I could tell that he had a great understanding of the coursework too. Chris has a positive attitude and rolled with the situation and any challenges. It is clear that he loves what he is doing.

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Participants started from zero and created both an Amazon Developer Console and AWS login. The course was a good mix of overview slides, Q&A, and workshops. During the hands-on tutorials, John and I spent time answering questions and occasionally getting developers unstuck. There was a lot of positive energy in the room and the class members had lots of questions about the current state and future direction of voice-first technology. What a great group of attendees.

Galvanize Phoenix has more Alexa Workshops scheduled for each remaining month of 2017. The next workshop is scheduled for September 19, 2017 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and I plan to be there as a volunteer. Check out the Galvanize Phoenix events calendar for upcoming Alexa Workshops and to continue the learning, attend the monthly Phoenix Alexa Meetup. For those in other areas, check out your local Galvanize location and find an Alexa Meetup near you.

I wish continued success for this Amazon and Galvanize partnership and that class participants go on to create amazing skills for the Alexa platform. It is an exciting time to jump into the booming voice technology industry.

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