Starter Kit

This project is designed to be a simple template for your new skills. With some well thought defaults that have proven useful when developing real life skills.

Directory Structure

It has the following directory structure

├── config
│   ├── env.js
│   ├── index.js
│   ├── local.json.example
│   ├── production.json
│   └── staging.json
├── gulpfile.js
├── package.json
├── serverless.yml
├── services
├── skill
│   ├── MainStateMachine.js
│   ├── index.js
│   ├── variables.js
│   └── views.js
├── speechAssets
│   ├── IntentSchema.json
│   ├── SampleUtterances.txt
│   └── customSlotTypes
├── test
├── server.js


By default your skill will have the following environments:

  • local
  • staging
  • production

What environment you’re is determined in the config/env.js module using the following code:


This is where your code to handle alexa events goes, you will usually have a State Machine definition, this will include states, middleware and a Model, Views and Variables


This should be a version controlled copy of your intent schema, sample utterrances and custom slots.


An http server for your skill configured to listen on port 3000, this should be used for development only.


Just a common place to put models and libraries


You write tests right?


A gulp runner configured with a watch task that starts your express server and listens for changes to reload your application.


The serverless framework is a tool that helps you manage your lambda applications, assuming you have your AWS credentials setup properly this starter kit defines the very minimum needed so you can deploy your skill to lambda with the following command:

$ sls deploy

Dependencies (install these first)

  1. If you are using node.js for the first time, install node:
  • Install nvm, curl -o- | bash,
  • Install node 6.10, nvm install 6.10
  1. Install gulp globally, npm install -g gulp
  2. Install ngrok, and add it to your local bin

Running the project

  1. Clone the Starter Kit repository
  2. Make sure you’re running node 6.10, this is easiest with nvm
  3. In your skill directory, install node dependencies using npm install
  4. Create a config/local.json file using config/local.json.example as an example
  5. Run the project with gulp watch
  6. At this point you should start ngrok http 3000 and configure your skill in the Amazon Developer panel to use the ngrok https endpoint.