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Building Amazon Alexa Skills With Node.js, Revisited

A little more than two years ago, when the Amazon Echo first started picking up steam and when I was first exposed to virtual assistants, I had written a tutorial around creating a Skill for Amazon Alexa using Node.js and simple JavaScript. In this tutorial titled, Create an Amazon Alexa Skill Using Node.js and AWS Lambda, we saw how to create intent functions and sample utterances in preparation for deployment on AWS Lambda. I later wrote a tutorial titled, Test Amazon Alexa Skills Offline with Mocha and Chai for Node.js, which focused on building unit tests for these Skills and their intent functions. Fast forward to now and a few things have changed in the realm of Skill development.

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to build a Skill for Alexa powered devices using Node.js and test it using popular frameworks and libraries such as Mocha and Chai.

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Test Amazon Alexa Skills Offline With Mocha And Chai For Node.js

By now you’re probably aware that I’m all about Amazon Alexa skills since I’m a proud owner of an Amazon Echo. I had released a Alexa skill called BART Control and published a guide on creating a simple skill with Node.js and Lambda. If you went through my Node.js and Lambda guide you probably found it pretty painful to test the skill you were working on. The constant building and uploading to Lambda could easily get out of control. What if I told you there was a much simpler way that could save you a ton of time?

We’re going to take a look at adding test cases for testing an Alexa skill offline without ever having to upload the skill to Lambda.

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Unit Testing A NativeScript Angular Android And iOS Mobile Application

Writing tests is a very important part of mobile application development, but not everyone does it. It could be laziness, it could be because you don’t know how. I fall into the category that I’m often too lazy to write tests. I don’t have time to write tests, I just want my application done. That is probably not a good answer. Unit testing will lead to overall better applications with less problems down the road.

Not too long ago, Ben Elliot wrote a guest post on The Polyglot Developer regarding unit testing a NativeScript mobile application. The thing is, that this was directed towards vanilla NativeScript. While vanilla is a very valid option when it comes to NativeScript, I prefer using Angular which is a bit different.

We’re going to see how to write unit tests for a NativeScript Android and iOS applications that use Angular and TypeScript.

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Unit Testing In A Telerik NativeScript Mobile App

Unit testing! It’s something that we as developers all understand the importance of and implement in every project, right?


Anyway… did you know NativeScript supports unit testing out of the box? It’s true!

By unit testing your application, you can ensure that any changes you’ve made to your code are working properly and that they haven’t broken any previous code. You could also integrate it into your Continuous Integration process and automate the running of your tests on a regular basis, or on each code check in!

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