Play, pause, resume, next, previous, and loop audios from YouTube to your Alexa Echo

Amazon Alexa and YouTube wordmarks with the words “New Version” superimposed


In my previous article, I’ve created a custom Alexa skill to play a single track of audio from a YouTube video to your Alexa Echo. In this article, I am going to show how to enhance the single-track skill to a complete audio player to play, stop, resume, skip, loop, and play the next related audio track from YouTube.

If you haven’t yet checked out the single-track skill, I recommend that you first read the previous article and then move on to this enhanced version.

Note: Keep in mind this skill will not be published in the Amazon Store and…

How to play YouTube audio from your Alexa


Have you ever wanted to ask Alexa to play the audio of a YouTube video? Just say “Alexa, Ask Hey Tube to play Whitesnake” and listen to a great Whitesnake track from YouTube.

In this article, I will show how to build a Custom Alexa Skill to connect your Amazon Echo device to YouTube.

Note: Keep in mind this skill will not be published in Amazon Store production, and can only be used in development mode. This is not an Amazon approved Skill and should only be used for educational purposes.

Alexa Custom Skill

The Alexa custom skill is a combination of two…

Create, manage, test, and publish your Alexa skill from the command line.


One of Amazon Alexa’s greatest feature is the ability to add Skills to enhance the user experience according to a specific need.

Skills are applications that interact with Alexa’s core APIs that handles speech recognition, text-to-speech encoding and natural language processing. Alexa has a number of built-in ready skills, but you can also create new custom skills.

You can build a new Skill using the Amazon Developer Console. The console is a great tool with many pros, but over time, I felt that the command-line tool provides you with a better programming experience when developing your application. …

Add analytics and storage to your React app

AWS Amplify + Storage S3 + Analytics Pinpoint


So far, in part 1, we installed and configured AWS Amplify from scratch. Then, created a React application and added a full authentication flow in simple steps.

In part 2, we provisioned an AWS AppSync GraphQL API and integrated it into our application.

In part 3, I will now add analytics using the AWS Pinpoint service and Storage to upload a file to AWS S3.

Let’s Start

Let’s start with the completed code from part 2.

Clone the repo:

$ git clone
cd react-amplify
cd part2-graphql
npm install

Test your Amplify config:

$ amplify status

Add AWS AppSync GraphQL API to your React application

AWS Amplify + AWS AppSync + GraphQL


In the previous post, we installed and configured AWS Amplify from scratch. Then, created a React application and added a full authentication flow in simple steps.

In part two, I will add AWS AppSync GraphQL API to the application.


GraphQL is a query language for your API, and a server-side runtime for executing queries by using a type system you define for your data.

GraphQL isn’t tied to any specific database or storage engine and is instead backed by your existing code and data.

You can learn more about GraphQL here:

AWS AppSync

Building the back end for a GraphQL API can…

Add a complete authentication flow to your React Application

What Is AWS Amplify?

AWS Amplify was announced in November 2017 as an open-source library for developers looking to build cloud-connected applications with JavaScript on the web or mobile platforms.

Have you ever heard of Google’s Firebase? It’s a very similar concept, but running in AWS.

AWS Amplify allows you to build apps incredibly fast, leveraging services provided by Amazon without managing any infrastructure.

AWS Amplify is a development platform for building secure, scalable mobile and web applications.

Amplify provides a set of features such as auth, analytics, API (GraphQL and REST), interactions, predictions, PubSub, storage, push notifications, and XR that enable you to…

Build a React project with Webpack 4 and Babel 7

Why Webpack?

Congrats. You have started using JavaScript in your application. You have heard great things about how awesome it is. So you have a single script for your page, maybe 500 lines and it’s mostly ok to manage. As you decide to add more features, more developers join you, and the project grows.

Now the script file is big and clunky. It’s hard to maintain and to find particular sections. So, the natural decision is to split the files into several smaller files. Great! But how do you manage all of these files? And more importantly, in what order they have…

Simple tools to make your life easier developing applications

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels


Software development is shifting to cloud computing. A significant number of organizations, including start-ups, have already migrated their functions to the cloud.

This is a non-exhaustive list of essential tools and commands that will help on your cloud development journey.


When developing and running local servers, you may need to identify where your processes are running.

lsof is a command meaning “list open files”, which is used in many Unix-like systems to report a list of all open files and the processes that opened them.

The -i (internet) option allows you to see the files opened by processes associated with…

A simple way to provision, deploy and manage a Kafka platform

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash


In my previous post — Install a Kafka Cluster on Ubuntu in AWS, I have detailed the steps to manually set up your messaging backbone in AWS. This is a great step to understand how Kafka works, but it takes a long time and is not scalable.

A Kafka Cluster has several components such as Brokers, Zookeepers, Workers running on multiple instances like the example below. The simplest way to provision, deploy and manage your platform is by using tools that will automate this task.

On this post, I will explain how can we use Terraform to quickly provision multiple…

If you genuinely want to embrace diversity and inclusion

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Coming from Brazil, a wonderfully diverse country, and having created teams to build and deliver software in +8 countries in America, Africa, Europe allowed me to work with great people. Not only from different races and genders but diverse background, cultures, perspectives, ages and education.

I have had the pleasure of hiring, mentoring and leading distributed teams with members from 5 continents with different work styles, expanding their knowledge, challenging themselves, growing and building a better product for everyone.

After going through the experience to have diverse cultures within the workplace and to build inclusive teams, I have decided to…

Marcos Lombog

AWS Certified Architect | Tech enthusiast, food lover and a proud father.

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