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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Alexa Skill of the Week: IT/Dev Connections News

Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions.

Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Dot, Tap, Echo Show, Echo Look, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with

This week’s skill: IT/Dev Connections News

Description: Stay up-to-date on IT/Dev Connections. Get the latest news on speakers, sessions, pre-cons, community events, sponsors, and special registration savings.

Real world use: Some of you may be aware, but my primary job here at Informa/Penton is running the company’s technology conferences. I have years of experience running small, medium, and large sized events and truly love putting together in-person content that is educational and valuable.  One of those conferences is IT/Dev Connections. IT/Dev Connections 2017 kicks off in San Francisco in October (23-26). This year we’re putting some big emphasis on taking the conference to the next level through modern technologies like Alexa.

I’ve been digging into Alexa development over the last couple months, so we’ve now released a pretty simple Flash Briefing skill for IT/Dev Connections. This particular skill can be added to your daily Flash Briefing to stay informed about new conference features, speaker news, and any myriad of other things like registration deals, etc.

I’ve also released one for another conference of ours, Data Center World, but the true test is coming. I’m currently working on a much more detailed Alexa skill that we’ll be using at the conference itself – turning Alexa into a conference helpdesk kiosk. Attendees will be able to just ask Alexa about sessions, speakers, timeslots, locations, hotel information, etc., etc. It’s a massive undertaking for sure, primarily because much of Alexa development is slow and manual.

For now, though, snag the IT/Dev Connections News skill to listen to near daily updates and get behind-the-scenes information.

Where to get it: You can locate the IT/Dev Connections News Skill in the Amazon Alexa app, enable it using your voice, or use the following web link: IT/Dev Connections News


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Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

IT/Dev Connections

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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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