LDNBotFramework Meetup #2 Retrospective: From Zero to Echo via BotFramework

I had an awesome time presenting my session at the second LDNBotframework meetup!

This time I ordered the correct amount of pizza, and let people loose on it at the right time; so no fridge full of pizza for breakfast the next day!

From Zero to Echo via BotFramework

LDNBotFramework #2 - From Zero to Echo via BotFramework

Tight deadline

Having scheduled this session weeks ago, unfortunately my preferred presenters were not able to make it; as such I had just over a week to decide what to do about the already scheduled meetup: should I cancel it and lose momentum, or should I do a session myself?

After a couple of days of uncertainty I decided to take the plunge and commit to doing the evening on my own, leaving me with less than a week to come up with some content!

I’ve spoken at plenty of conferences and meetups in the past, but I’ve always had months of notice to prepare and practice.

Echo… Echo.. Echo..

I decided to investigate my newly acquired Amazon Echo Dot’s capabilities, but didn’t fancy using AWS and lambdas, since they don’t make for a fun presentation.

As such, I committed to developing an Alexa Skill without writing any code, and then hook that skill into an existing botframework chatbot. No slides, no presentation, just working through the process, live.

What could possibly go wrong??

Photos and Video

Given that it was me doing the talking, no one else was taking pictures, tweeting, nor checking the video feed was actually working and recording.. which meant that there is no record of the event ever having taking place. Ugh.

I’m gutted about that, since the session went well otherwise. I’m going to write it all up as a separate article instead of go into too much detail here.

If you run a meetup yourself, I’ll happily go through the session again – so long as you can record it for me!


Live-developing an Alexa skill, complete with intentional “failures”, and using my laptop to proxy calls to an existing botframework chatbot was an interesting concept and it seems that the attendees enjoyed it as well.

Given that this meetup only had one session instead of three, it was much more relaxed and had plenty of time to chat and network whilst enjoying the pizza and beer provided by the generous hosts, JustEat.

I’m looking forwards to the next meetup; don’t forget to join the group so you know when it will be!

Botframework + Alexa = a fun meetup session!

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