Inspiration I love podcasts, they're great while working to have your headphones plugged in and listen to podcasts as you're working, helping you focus while not as distracting as music in headphones. They're also great while cooking, or even working around the house so that inspired me to have Cast Buddy Amazon Alexa so you could have around the house or outside on your phone or car.
What it does Cast Buddy helps you find podcasts using search, listen to podcasts or subscribe to podcasts you like so you'd be able to listen to them whenever you please. Cast Buddy also keeps your listening history so you could go back and check the podcasts you liked. You could also set safe mode so that you may filter undesired results while listening.
How I built it Cast Buddy was built using amazon Alexa dev console to create and define the interaction model and intents and enable the conversations. An Amazon lambda instance was used to create the backend to the Cast Buddy, and responses were implemented using Alexa SDK for Nodejs v2.
Challenges I ran into I ran into many challenges, the main ones relating to the features hoping to support and the time available before submission, I made the list of features required for having the minimum viable product and kept the other features as the backlog for feature addition and enhancements.
The other main issue I faced related to my relatively small experience with Amazon Alexa skill development as I had a simple interaction with it a long while ago. So, it was a fun and exciting opportunity to be able to get started and quickly get up to speed and develop the desired features in time.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of I'm proud of the speed I was able to get up to speed to make it through the development phase despite the learning curve I went through in the space of a couple of days. I am proud of the effort I exerted in the learning experience no matter the outcome which would benefit me in both my personal and career life.
What I learned I learned a lot of technical skill and development information, especially about the Alexa development stack. I've also gained a lot of soft skills knowledge such as time management and feature and product prioritization.
What's next for Cast Buddy Cast Buddy has a lot of exciting new steps coming ahead, There's already a list of exciting features to come most notable of which is the ability to export subs and history to opml files to be able to move history to another podcasting client. Also the ability to listen based on genre/recommendations and major improvements to search/play experience.