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over 4 years ago

6 Tips for Submitting a Great Entry to the Alexa Skills Challenge: Tech for Good

The Alexa Skills Challenge: Tech for Good is well underway with 24 days left to submit your entries and hundreds of developers have registered to participate. We are very excited to see and review what everyone builds once the submission period ends on September 17th at 5:00PM ET (Find out what time that is in your city). For those of you just getting started or hearing about the challenge, it's not too late to join.

6 Tips for Building Great Skills for Good

Building a great skill can take time. So we wanted to share a few tips to help you create the best skill possible. You can learn more about the challenge, here. Here are six tips that will help you build great submissions for this challenge. You can also watch the webinar “Tips for Building Great Skills for Good on demand for more information.

  1. Build, submit, and test early: Building an Alexa skill can take time. Consider this as you start building so you don't let time run out. Submit your skill early for certification to benefit from the opportunity to share your skill with friends and get feedback on the experience you've built. Read our guide “10 Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do”.
  2. Enrich your skill with open-sourced data: You can use open-sourced data to make your responses more personalized or dynamic for your customer. We've listed a number of resources for you to consider not only to enhance your skill but also maybe help you come up with ideas. View the full list of resources, here.
  3. Focus on bonus prize categories: Don't know where to start? The challenge has two bonus prize categories to help you come up with ideas. If you are not sure what to build, choose a bonus prize category and use that to help you think about a customer problem you can solve. You can find the list of bonus prizes, here.
  4. Read the updated judging criteria: The goal is to create an experience that customers will use, that is easy to understand, and that, when all else fails, just works. Use the judging criteria to your advantage to make sure you focus on the right aspects of your skill. Read the judging criteria at the bottom of this page.
  5. Use Advanced Voice Features: Consider using advanced voice features to create richer and better conversational experiences. Read more Dialog Management, Entity Resolution, Memory (persistence), or CanFullFillIntent.
  1. Consider the device your user will be using. With the launch of Echo Show and Echo Spot, customers now have access to Alexa-enabled devices with screens. Think about how your skill can benefit from using a screen to display answers or better guide your customer. Learn more about building a great VUI, here.

As a reminder, your Devpost submission is due by September 17th at 5PM, ET but you have until October 1 to get your skill through certification. Good luck everyone!

Where can I find more information?

  • Slack Channel: We invite all participants to join us on Slack to discuss ideas, search for teammates and ask questions. Join the Slack channel.
  • Office Hour: We host office hours every Tuesday from 1:00PM to 2:00PM PT
  • Alexa Blog: Browse our blog for technical guides, tips, and new feature announcement to make your skill even better.
  • Forum: Still have questions? Browse the Alexa forum or submit your own questions to get answers.


If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.