AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder - Specialty

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AWS CSA


In January I took the beta test for AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty and yesterday I got the results. I had been programming Alexa Skills and when I saw the blueprint of the exam it caught my attention that a lot of the content I already knew in one way or another.

There were 80 questions to answer in 170 minutes, similar to a Professional exam.

How did I prepare?

Unlike other exams that I had already taken, the preparation for this was different, since being a beta test there was no course or didactic material focused this certification.

Before knowing the existence of the beta test I was already experimenting with Alexa, and in fact I checked some videos from A Cloud Guru , like Introduction to Alexa, that although it is good to start is very basic since they only take the examples that are obtained in the git repositories of AWS, modifying only a couple of things in the code.

I had also followed the series of videos Alexa Devs, which has more content than the introductory course, here is more specific information such as the management of videos and screens.

But what to study?

You have to be very familiar with the contents of the blueprint they provide when registering for the exam:

Domain % of Examination
Domain 1: Voice-First Design Practices and Capabilities 14%
Domain 2: Skill Design 24%
Domain 3: Skill Architecture 14%
Domain 4: Skill Development 20%
Domain 5: Test, Validate, and Troubleshoot %18
Domain 6: Publishing, Operations, and Lifecycle Management 10%
Total 100%


On the other hand I also recommend:

  • Know the request / response JSON well.
  • Understand how the Beta tester program works
  • Know how to persist data in a session and among sessions
  • Know the different interaction models and what intents are provided by default
  • Understand the Standard Built-in Intents
  • Know the AWS backend services, i.e., Lambda, DynamoDB, S3
  • Know how to grant permission to Lambda functions

Extra tip

Being a specialization, many of the questions are long and confusing, so I recommend that when you read the question Alexa Skill Builder you replace it in your mind with Developer, since it sounds very strange when you read something like “An Alexa Skill Builder builds a skill … “

My recommendations for saving time on this exam are:

  • Answer the easy question quick, don’t stay long thing whether is right answer because probably it is.
  • Only mark for review those question where you really have a doubt, so you can check them later and if there’s time left be able to review them all.
  • Think it is a Amazon certification and in that matter always wonder what Amazon service to use.
  • Take into account that it’s a Amazon certification and in that matter always think what Amazon service to use.
  • Discard things that can be done at the OS level if an Amazon service provides it, and only consider it when there is no other option.
  • Whenever you read scalable think of SQS / DynamoDB, cost-saving = S3 / S3 RRS, and so on.

If you are interested in this certification I recommend some links:

Online curse

AWS Documentation

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