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Baby Words | July 30th, 2018

Baby Words

For months, Surabhi and I had been trying to get her an Echo through Amazon's promotions. [ADD LINK]

Surabhi had built a skill before, but it didn't hit the "100 users in the first month" mark to qualify for the Dot. I attribute this failure to having built the skill to a too-specific user base, because Surabhi's skill itself was great.

I wasn't about to build Surabhi a skill either, because:
Surabhi was more than capable to build one herself, and
I expect excellence from my girlfriend 😉


In late winter of 2017, Amazon announced a hackathon for the best Kid-based Alexa skills. Teams allowed.
All participants who pass the skill submission standards receive an Echo as a participation prize.

Surabhi and I are very opposite in personality and interests: this has allowed us to make a spectacular team. We have worked on homework and projects before and whenever one of us reached an impasse, the other was available to show a new approach to the situation at hand.
We've powered through many projects together with this quality.

We decided to build a skill that behaves as an at-home vocabulary tutor, intended to be used for young children.


Debugging was awful but the experience helped us see the Alexa device and service as a finite state machine.

We didn't win anything except the participation prize, which was what we were aiming for. Great.



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    Vivek Bhookya