Video Transcript

Hey, this is Steve with Dabble Lab.  So yesterday Amazon announced the new Test Simulator Beta for Alexa Skills in the developer console and in this video, I’m going to walk through that.  I’ve had just a little bit of time to play with it being that it just came out yesterday, but I’ll show you what I’ve learned so far and yeah, talk it through.

Let’s go over here to the Developer Console and I’m going to test with a skill that I started working on called Startup Modeler.  It’s not finished yet, I’m still working on it.  But this is a skill that uses dialogs and a back-and-forth multi-turn dialog to get information from the user to assess a business-model metrics.  So we will go over here to test and then open up the new Test Simulator.

This is not an Echo Show or this skill is not targeting the Echo Show, so I won’t need to see any template responses here so I can turn this off up here.  You can also tag along and off the device log which shows device events, which is pretty cool.  And over here, you’ve got a simulator that now supports voice inputs which is, I think, the coolest part of this update for sure.  So you don’t need an Amazon Echo device to test.  You can test with either text input or voice input which was a limitation of the previous testing setup that they had here in the Developer Console.

So let’s start there and you just click on this little microphone and talk just like you’re talking to your Echo Device or if you use  I think that’s what it’s called, but it kind of uses the same process.  I’ll click on it.

Steve:  Alexa, ask Startup Modeler to analyze my business.

Alexa:  Okay.  First question, how much will an average customer spend in a year with your business?

And again, I’m using dialogs, so it’s using the dialog delegate response and I can respond here.

Steve:  $5,000.

Alexa:  Your average customer will spend $5,000 per year.  Is that right?

And I get to see my input and the response here in just text.  And this is really nice.  It makes it easy to follow.

Steve:  Yes.

Alexa:  Next question.  How many total customers do you expect to have after your first three years of business?

Steve:  3,000.

Alexa:  You expect to have 3,000 customers after three years, correct?

Steve:  Correct.

So I really like this here, on the left here going back.

Alexa:  How much do you expect to spend on marketing and sales to get 3,000 customers?

Steve:  How much do I spend to get 3,000 customers?  That’s 7,000.  No, I’ll spend way more than that.

Alexa:  You plan to spend $7,000 on sales and marketing to get 3,000 customers; is that right?

Steve:  No.

Alexa:  Just three more questions.

Steve:  Sure.

Alexa:  How much do you expect to spend on marketing and sales to get 3,000 customers?

Steve:  $7,000.

Alexa:  You plan to spend $7,000 on sales and marketing to get 3,000 customers; is that right?

Steve:  That’s right.

Alexa:  Okay.  We’re almost done.

I love that I can see exactly what —

Alexa:  How many total employees will you have by the end of your third year?

— Alexa is hearing right away.  This is great.

Steve:  Okay.  We’re almost done.  How many total employees we have by the end of the year?  27.

Alexa:  Got it.  You’ll need 27 employees, correct?

Steve:  Correct.

Alexa:  Last question.  How much money will you need to raise or invest yourself in the first three years?

Steve:  $500,000.

Alexa:  All right.  You’ll need to raise or invest $500,000, right?

Steve:  Right.

Alexa:  Based on what you’ve told me if your average customer spends $5,000 per year and you require 3,000 customers, you have generated around $15 million in gross sales.  That will make your average annual sales in the first three years around $5 million.

I’ll stop that.  You can also send commands just using the text input here.  This is super nice.  I really love the updates.  The other thing I noticed that is really nice is you can go back here and click on any one of these to review the input and the output, so if you want to go see, like, the slots being filled, you can go through like this.

The other thing I noticed is you can copy the input JSON or if you want to manually submit a request, that’s new here.  So you can go to these manual JSON areas here and create your JSON request that you want to send to your skill service and then submit it to see the response that comes back, which is nice.  This let’s you test your backend skill service, it’s just using the new test interface.

So this is my — well, it came out yesterday, so this is my first look at it and I’m going to spend some more time with it and see what else it can do it.  I’ll follow up in the future video.  I know there’s also been some updates to the backend API from the ASK API, so I’m going to look at what kinds of new things we can do on the testing front in the ASK-CLI as well, and I’ll follow up in a future video with that.

So hopefully, this was valuable to you.  If it was, please like the video and subscribe to the Dabble Lab channel.  If you have any comments or questions, you can leave those and I will respond just as soon as I can.  Thanks so much.