Developer Guide - Get Started in Voice

Levi Sawyers

Levi Sawyers

  • June 6, 2019

A Quick Guide for the #Voicefirst Ecosystem

get started voice developer

Are you interested in getting started in the voice ecosystem? Whether you’re a new developer or a seasoned coder, it’s enticing to get involved in a new and transforming technology. If you’re not convinced, it’s hard to brush over these numbers without recognizing the opportunity:

  • 91% of brands are making significant investments in voice technologies [1]
  • 22% of companies have an existing voice app, indicating the majority are in the exploratory phase for a relatively early market [1]
  • Smart speakers worldwide will exceed 200 million in 2019 and climb to over 500 million by 2023 [2]
  • Of the 30% planning to purchase a smart speaker in the U.S., 73% of them want to do so in the next six months, indicating some urgency, and a hot market [3]
  • 54% of consumers expect their digital assistants to help make retail purchases within the next 5 years [3]

Now that you’re fully onboard, how can you take advantage of the voice boom as a third party developer? Given the relative early stage of voice technology, information across the internet on getting started can be overwhelming. In an effort to streamline the process for the dev community, we’ve compiled a short list of simple steps to get started in voice.

To start, we broke the resources down by the five simple steps of discovery for a new ecosystem. From there, we split it up by the voice service to allow you to dive deeper into a specific track. It’s fair to note that while reviewing the five steps, some voice services are still developing and resources may be scarce.

Step 1: Explore the Official Resources
With several voice services and official resources available, where do you begin? Use the list below to compare and explore the official resources for each voice service:

Google Assistant
Official Resource
Github

Amazon Alexa
Official Resource
Github

Microsoft Cortana
Official Resource
Github

Samsung Bixby
Official Resource
Github

Step 2: Take Advantage of Additional Resources
Stepping into the voice development space, fortunately, is a road that has been traveled. There are a lot of pioneers that have created ways to make development easier, including simple “Get-Started” videos, to building cross-platform apps, to our very own SDK to help you manage content separate from code and plan for international expansion. Below is our take on some of the easiest additional resources to help:

Dabble Lab: The Dabble Lab YouTube channel is the leading independent resource for developers to learn and engage with over 120+ tutorials with 5k+ subscribers
Jovo: Jovo is the first open source framework that lets you build voice apps for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with only one code base. Besides cross-platform development, Jovo also offers a variety of integrations and easy prototyping capabilities.
Jargon SDK: The Jargon SDK makes it easy for skill developers to manage their runtime content, and to support multiple languages from within their skill.
Pulse Labs: The premier user testing and research platform for developers and designers of voice applications.
Voicebot.ai: Last but not least, the easiest way to stay up to date on anything newsworthy when it comes to all things voice.

Step 3: Get Connected with the Online Community
Connecting with an online community provides you with a support system to ask questions and receive answers on the best practices. There are various ways to find the right community depending on the voice service you’re starting with and your personal preference. Below is our collection of the available social channels to connect and communicate with fellow developers:

Google Assistant
Stack Overflow
Reddit
Facebook
Twitter
Slack

Amazon Alexa
Stack Overflow
Reddit
Facebook
Twitter
Community Forum
Slack

Microsoft Cortana
Stack Overflow
Reddit
Community Forum
Twitter

Samsung Bixby
Stack Overflow
Reddit
Facebook
Twitter

Step 4: Connect with the Community
If you’re in a big city, chances are there is also a big opportunity to join a local meet-up. If you haven’t used the website Meet-up before, it’s a simple platform to connect like-minded individuals in a local region. Using a quick search on Meet-up, it displays voice related meet-ups throughout the world. Try for yourself here by searching Alexa or Google Assistant.

Not in a big city but willing to travel? There are also various conferences that are anything and everything voice related. We’ve already compiled the list and will continue to keep it updated - use this link to check it out.

Step 5: Experiment and Enjoy!
At this point, you have a good idea that voice is going to continue to grow and be a foundational piece of any user interface – but where to next? By continuing to grow the ecosystem and push for innovative ideas, you can help make the inevitable become a reality.


This list was curated independently to be a resource for developers new to the voice ecosystem. Feel like we’re missing a resource? Feel free to share the info with us so we can add it to the list!

References:
[1] theblog.adobe.com/91-of-brands-are-investing-in-voice-how-to-make-it-work/
[2] canalys.com/newsroom/canalys-global-smart-speaker-installed-base-to-top-200-million-by-end-of-2019
[3] advertiseonbing-blob.azureedge.net/blob/bingads/media/insight/whitepapers/2019/04%20apr/voice-report/bingads_2019voicereport.pdf

Looking to learn more about Jargon? Check out these additional resources below:
Get Started with Jargon
Jargon SDK Starter Templates


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