Interview conducted in writing July-August 2016.
[Eric] Good morning, Kira. It is a pleasure to interview you today and to help you introduce your recently launched Alexa skill, “CloudStatus”. Can you provide a brief overview about what the skill does?
[Kira] Good morning, Papa! Thank you for inviting me.
CloudStatus allows users to check the service availability of any AWS region. On opening the skill, Alexa says which (if any) regions are experiencing service issues or were recently having problems. Then the user can inquire about the services in specific regions.
This skill was made at my dad’s request. He wanted to quickly see how AWS services were operating, without needing to open his laptop. As well as summarizing service issues for him, my dad thought CloudStatus would be a good opportunity for me to learn about retrieving and parsing web pages in Python.
All the data can be found in more detail at status.aws.amazon.com. But with CloudStatus, developers can hear AWS statuses with their Amazon Echo. Instead of scrolling through dozens of green checkmarks to find errors, users of CloudStatus listen to which services are having problems, as well as how many services are operating satisfactorily.
CloudStatus is intended for anyone who uses Amazon Web Services and wants to know about current (and recent) AWS problems. Eventually it might be expanded to talk about other clouds as well.
[Eric] Assuming I have an Amazon Echo, how do I install and use the CloudStatus Alexa skill?
[Kira] Just say “Alexa, enable CloudStatus skill”! Ask Alexa to “open CloudStatus” and she will give you a summary of regions with problems. An example of what she might say on the worst of days is: