As you continue to learn about Alexa Skills Development, being able to access the contents of a skill’s requests and responses will help you troubleshoot bugs.

Amazon provides developers a way to test skills quickly by typing (instead of speaking) the commands through the Service Simulator, available on developer.amazon.com.

Using the Service Simulator

  1. Navigate to the Test tab of your skill.
  2. Enable skill testing.
  3. Type tell {YOUR-FIRST-NAME} {LAST-INITIAL}’s code academy hello in the text box.
  4. Hit Enter on your keyboard. You will see the JSON request that was sent to our Lambda function on the left, and the response from our Lambda function on the right.

Don’t forget to turn up the volume! You can also listen to the response when it is shown on screen.


As always, you might have to do some troubleshooting to get everything working right. A few things we have discovered include:

  1. Make sure that the skill is completely built before testing. You should see a “Build Successful” message.
  2. Try using a full last name for your invocation name such as “peter paul’s code academy” instead of “peter p’s code academy”. The simulator sometimes adds periods after initials.
  3. Check to be sure your Hosting Region is US East (N. Virginia), EU (Ireland), or US West (Oregon). These are the three regions that host Alexa skills.

Good luck and as always when troubleshooting, reach out for support. Someone else has almost always encountered the same problem. Good places to check are the Codecademy Forums and the Amazon Alexa Developer Forums.

Happy building!


The video to the right shows you how to use the service simulator in your Amazon developer account.

Test the following inputs in the service simulator:

  • tell {YOUR-FIRST-NAME} {LAST-INITIAL}’s code academy hello
  • open {YOUR-FIRST-NAME} {LAST-INITIAL}’s code academy

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