Interview with Roger Kibbe of

Hello! Tell us a little bit about your background and an overview of how you got started in the Voice Space/Alexa Development!

I have been working with tech for over 20 years as a developer, architect and technology strategist. I got started with voice development about a year ago. It’s truly an exciting place and we are in its infancy. Voice will revolutionize how we interact with technology. The oldest human way to communicate is now the newest way to communicate with technology! Old and new combined will equal new opportunities to humanize technologyVoice Craft is my newly formed consulting company. Companies/Brands should be jumping into voice. It’s time right now jump in and understands what resonates with your customers and what doesn’t. It’s truly the 4th channel (Physical the first, web the second, mobile the third). If you are a company and need help with your voice strategy and implementation both business and technology wise, then lets definitely talk!

What Alexa skills have you created so far and what was your inspiration and motivation for creating your Alexa skills?

The first Alexa skill was Bag of Giggles. This was a collaborative effort between three of us. All three of us were parents and interested in making a voice game for kids. We all love technology but also are concerned about too much screen time for our kids. This was an attempt to have tech encourage social and physical play. I would say the result is frankly a mixed bag - the idea is good but the gameplay isn’t where it should be. It’s on my to do list to fix this
Workout Coach is my most recent skill. The motivation for this was simple - I wanted to get in better shape and see a voice workout coach as a great choice. I tried several exercise skills and just wasn’t happy with them. Hence it was time to create one that worked for me and hopefully works well for others! I’m most excited about what people think of the different voices/personalities you can choose - does that resonate?Several other skills and Google Assistant actions are coming - stay tuned!

How did you go about building your Alexa Skills?

Everything has been built using the Node.js ASK (Alexa Skill KIt). I’m a huge fan of what Jovo has done - likely will switch development to that framework. I really like the interactive builders; Love what the Storyline guys have done and the ambitiousness of Voice Apps but while they are great for prototyping, I always seem to need a little more.

What are your future goals for Voice Craft and your Alexa skills?

Well first and foremost, build out the Voice Craft consulting business. Aside from that, I am currently working on some new Alexa Skills and Google Actions - really focused on getting the content right. Done properly, content and VUI flow should be the challenge - the tech part should be the easier part. I’m also exploring opportunities in voice strategy and development education whether it be in person or online.

Any advice for Alexa skill builders/creators just starting out?

First thing is jump right in. If I was starting today, I would experiment with one of the interactive builder tools like Storyline and get my feet wet. If that meets your needs, great! If not, look at the Alexa ASK - lots of good info on Github. And for Google, less info online but DialogFlow is an awesome tool - bit of a combo of an interactive builder with the power to fully customize/add your own code.Second thing is content, content, content! Focus there for the win! Ask yourself why you can listen to an audiobook or podcast for a long time but many Alexa skills drive you nuts quickly. The answer = great content in the book/podcast.

“Second thing is content, content, content! Focus there for the win!” - Roger Kibbe

Where can we go to follow you and your work?

Twitter is where I’m most active