I’m an Amazon Alexa fan.

In March 2015, I borrowed betaworks’ Amazon Echo with the goal of building an Alexa skill. After a few hours I built Nonsmoker, an Alexa skill that lets you track how long its been since you stopped smoking.

After finding that there weren’t any Alexa meetups in New York City, I decided to start the NYC Amazon Alexa Meetup.

For our first meetup, I wrote a tutorial called “Build Your First Alexa Skill” that aimed to provide a way for anyone to create a custom Alexa skill regardless of technical expertise. At the end of our first meetup we had 24 skills built by a group of 45 people, and the tutorial is still used by lots of people that find it using Google searches.

Amazon launched a program called “Alexa Champions” to recognize top Alexa developers in the community. In acknowledgement of my contributions to the community in the form of the NYC Amazon Alexa Meetup and Build Your First Alexa Skill tutorial, I was included as an Alexa champion in August 2016.

Since moving to Oakland from New York City, I took the reins of the SF Amazon Alexa Meetup and continue to run Alexa meetups for interested folks in the Bay Area.

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