I'm a passionate Bath Rugby fan so always looking for opportunities to use new technology with their brand. As a supporter, I thought it would be great to have an easy way of checking upcoming fixtures without needing to check the calendar.

What it does

This skill can answer questions about upcoming fixtures, e.g. when do Bath next play Gloucester?, about results, "what was the score against Newcastle away?", and positions in the premiership table, "Where are Bath in the table?"

How I built it

I'd already built a Telegram bot with similar functionality but with IBM Watson Conversation API. For this project, I was able to keep the core functionality and retrofit into the Alexa Node.js SDK. I then hosted it on AWS Lambda.

Challenges I ran into

Initially the challenge was gaining familiarity with AWS Lambda and finding a way to develop and test locally so that I didn't have to upload each time. I found that feedback/logging mechanism was sometimes quite difficult to resolve errors.

I needed to introduce a very basis state system into the Alexa skill which was confusing initially. It was quite rudimentary way of managing flow.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

It took a couple of attempts to pass the accreditation process but glad that I've got an skill on the Alexa store!

What I learned

I learnt a load about how to build an Alexa Skill, what's possible and what's not. It was also my first time using Lambda.

What's next for Bath Rugby Results, Fixtures and Table Standings

It would be great to be able to provide info on scores mid-game. The licenses for such things are expensive but maybe it could be supported by contributions from local supporters that attend the games and crowd-source the service.

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