Amazon’s Alexa is making it into the big times, with one coding bootcamp gearing up to launch a program focused on Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
According to a report, Bellevue, Washington developer bootcamp Coding Dojo rolled out a new training program this week enabling developers to work on projects for Alexa. The move on the part of Coding Dojo is the latest evidence that Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, is growing in popularity, as are voice-enabled virtual assistants. While Apple has had Siri for years, Alexa is emerging as the leader in terms of virtual assistants, trouncing Apple and Google.
The report noted that Coding Dojo is offering an Alexa skills module that last 14 weeks and is also rolling out a YouTube series on how to build Alexa skills. The coding school is also hosting a hackathon in February that will be led by Amazon Alexa employees. The event will be held on Coding Dojo’s San Jose, California campus, noted the report. Coding Dojo already has two Alexa workshops — one in Bellevue and the other in the Bay Area — in which coders compete to develop Alexa skills. The winner of the San Jose contest created an Alexa skill that enabled people to text friends or law enforcement by giving Echo speaker voice commands. The success of those workshops prompted Coding Dojo to launch the program. “We would love to partner with additional companies to do this,” said Coding Dojo CEO Richard Wang in the report. “A lot of social innovation projects come out of it.”
The move on the part of Coding Dojo comes as Amazon is making it easier for developers to create skills for Alexa. As of June, there were 1,400 available Alexa skills, and Amazon is making it easier for developers by making them available for customers to search and for developers to promote their skills.