Google Assistant: Best Learning & Help Resources
Table of Contents
- Official documentation
- Social media
- YouTube videos
- Online courses
While it might seem very obvious, the Google’s official documentation is the best place to get started if you need help with both consumer and developer products. It contains a wealth of information kept up to date by Google. To start exploring, check out the following resources:
Twitter is an amazing source of the Google Assistant news. To get started, here are a few must-follow accounts from Google:
- https://twitter.com/madebygoogle — particularly, tweets about Google Home
One of the best ways to learn developing for the Google Assistant is to surround yourself with people you can look up to and stay up to date with what the experts are talking about. Here are the lists of the Googlers and GDEs for Google Assistant on Twitter for you to follow:
- Google Assistant Googlers: https://twitter.com/aygul/lists/google-assistant-googlers
- Google Assistant GDEs: https://twitter.com/aygul/lists/google-assistant-gdes
There are three official Google Assistant related developer communities on Google+:
- Actions on Google: https://plus.google.com/communities/105684267327487893574
- Dialogflow: https://plus.google.com/communities/103318168784860581977
- Google Assistant SDK: https://plus.google.com/communities/117537996116836200696
All of them are focused on announcing new blog posts and platform updates. However, the majority of the content posted there is coming from developers asking for help on specific issues around building for the Google Assistant.
According to Alexa, Reddit is #5 most popular website in the US. Try not to get lost on its front page, it’s super addictive! To stay up to date with the Google Assistant related news, make sure to subscribe to the following subreddits:
Reddit is also a great place to share your blog articles, projects or anything interesting you might find on the web. Sharing is caring!
Quora is awesome for general, broad questions, especially when you’re looking for recommendations and opinions as opposite to just one “correct” answer. Make sure to tag your questions with one of the following topics to get them noticed by people who have experience with the Google Assistant ecosystem:
Before you dive into developing Actions on Google, you should really go through the Google’s official blogs on Google Assistant, Dialogflow, and Google Home.
Blogs by Google:
Don’t forget that some of the Googlers and GDEs for Google Assistant have their own blogs. Find a few that you enjoy reading and follow them on Medium. Also, I’ve listed a few Medium tags to get you started.
Blogs by Googlers:
Blogs by GDEs:
Tags on Medium:
Newsletters can be awesome sources of inspiration and knowledge. Make sure to sign up for to the Google’s official Google Assistant developer newsletter here: https://assistant.google.com/developer/ to stay up to date with the latest news around Google Assistant, Actions on Google, and Dialogflow.
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, I might disappoint you since I don’t know a single podcast dedicated just to Google Assistant. So if you find one, let me know in the comments. In the last few years, the number of technical podcasts has dramatically increased. So I hope we’ll see the very first Google Assistant podcast very soon.
There is a few Google Assistant related episodes on various voice first development podcasts that are worth a mention:
- Google Cloud Platform Podcast Ep. 131 — Actions on Google with Mandy Chan: https://www.gcppodcast.com/post/episode-131-actions-on-google-with-mandy-chan/
- Voicebot Podcast Ep. 43 — Google Assistant Developer Panel with Jochen Emig of Onsei and Michael Myers of XAPPmedia: https://voicebot.ai/2018/05/14/google-assistant-developer-panel-with-jochen-emig-of-onsei-and-michael-myers-of-xappmedia-voicebot-podcast-ep-43/
- Voicebot Podcast Ep. 14 — Brad Abrams, Google Assistant Group Product Manager: https://voicebot.ai/2017/10/31/voicebot-podcast-episode-14-brad-abrams-google-assistant-group-product-manager/
- VUX world — Voice first user research with Konstantin Samoylov and Adam Banks: https://vux.world/voice-first-user-research/
- Design for Voice Ep. 1 — Design is Essential with Cathy Pearl, Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google: https://designforvoice.com/podcast/episode-1-design-is-essential/
YouTube is home for some great Google Assistant resources including presentation videos from various technical conferences and visual tutorials by Googlers, GDEs, and other industry experts. Here are a few YouTube playlists and videos to start with:
Google Developer Day 2017:
Google Cloud Next 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e0RGIul8Kk
Google Cloud Next 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0DGAeWr0s
Best Practices for Actions on Google: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOU2XLYxmsILvfJcIASBDbgfxloFz_XsU
Build rich conversational experiences with Dialogflow: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOU2XLYxmsIL-iJMv7w0Gj1rLXMcv-f95
No matter when you currently are in the world, make sure to connect with your nearest Google Assistant related meetup in your area. I can’t stress enough just how amazing it is to connect with like-minded people offline and learn from them as well as share your own knowledge and experience. These meetups are run by community members that are really passionate about everything around Google Assistant and generously volunteer their time to organize local developer events.
- Cologne, Germany: https://www.meetup.com/Smartistenten/
- Hamburg, Germany: https://www.meetup.com/Hamburg-Voice-Interfaces/
- Milan, Italy: https://www.meetup.com/Milano-Chatbots-Meetup/
- London, UK: https://www.meetup.com/Messaging-Bots-London/
- San Francisco, USA: https://www.meetup.com/SF-Bay-Google-Home-OK-Google-whens-the-next-meetup/
- New York, USA: https://www.meetup.com/Bots-and-Artificial-Intelligence/
- Chicago, USA: https://www.meetup.com/uvs-chicago/
- Washington, USA: https://www.meetup.com/uvs-dc/
- Melbourne, Australia: https://www.meetup.com/ChatbotsMelbourne/
For more meetups in your area, check out:
You can also connect with your nearest GDG (Google Developer Group) and ask them to host a Google Assistant event. This year, they run a global series of events about Actions on Google called Build Actions for Your Community in hundreds of cities around the world.
With 22 sessions around Google Assistant in three days and more than 7,000 developers at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View this year, Google I/O is definitely THE conference to attend if you’re developing Actions on Google. Besides, there are a few other really exciting conferences that cover voice first development for various smart assistants including Google Assistant and feature speakers from the Google Assistant team. I’m sure this list will grow in the very near future.
- VoiceCon (New York, USA): http://voicecon.co/ (speakers include Naomi Makofsky from Google)
- Smart Voice Summit (Paris, France; London, UK): https://smartvoicesummit.com/ (speakers include Alice Zimmermann and Lionel Mora from Google)
- Voice Summit (Newark, USA): https://www.voicesummit.ai/ (speakers include Mandy Chan and Cathy Pearl from Google)
- Conversational Commerce Conference (San Francisco, USA): http://opusresearch.cvent.com/events/conversational-commerce-conference-sf-2018/event-summary-afda05bd4bac46ee9dd83f5bbc9ad74a.aspx (speakers include Daniel Padgett from Google)
- The Voice of Healthcare Summit (Boston, USA): https://www.vohsummit.com/
- Chatbot Conference (San Francisco, USA): https://www.chatbotconference.com/
You can find lots of excellent slides from speakers (including Googlers and GDEs) on SlideShare or SpeakerDeck. It might be quite useful if you’ve missed their session or would like to remember the concepts that were mentioned. Here are just a few presentations (you can easily find them all using search):
What would we do without Stack Overflow? We all need some help occasionally. So if you find yourself stuck with your Google Assistant project, here are the Google Assistant related tags you can use when asking your questions:
The Googlers (particularly, Nick Felker, Leon Nicholls, Matt Carroll, Sachit Mishra, and Aza Tulepbergenov) and GDEs (particularly, Allen Firstenberg) for Google Assistant are very active on Stack Overflow. So people are rarely left with their questions unanswered.
Also, consider giving back to the community by contributing answers and votes (just use the tags above to find new unanswered questions to help with). Moreover, receiving upvotes/points can be rewarding — and really addictive!
Google Product Forums
Google Product Forums allow you to connect with other users and members of the Google Assistant team to get help quickly. There are currently three official Google Assistant related forums:
You can also help other users with their Google Assistant related questions (and earn badges based on your level of participation).
Voice Experiments is a showcase of what’s possible when you bring open-ended, natural conversation into games, music, storytelling, and more. These experiments were made with Dialogflow and the Actions on Google platform and work on devices such as the Google Home or even right in the browser. If you’ve made a project that pushes the boundaries of what code can do, make sure to share it with Google by filling out the form here: https://experiments.withgoogle.com/submit.
Google Developers Codelabs for Google Assistant provide a guided, tutorial, hands-on coding experience and cover Actions on Google. Most codelabs will step you through the process of building a small application, or adding a new feature to an existing application. There are currently four Google Assistant codelabs:
- Build Actions for the Google Assistant (Level 1) — 59 min.
- Build Actions for the Google Assistant (Level 2) — 62 min.
- Crafting a Character: Design an engaging Assistant app — 30 min.
- Smart Home Washer — 75 min.
Some great Google Assistant courses are available on Caster.io and Udemy for very reasonable prices. I haven’t watched them all from end-to-end, but looking at the syllabi, they look very interesting and a bargain.
Another, more technical course on Google Assistant is coming very soon. You’ll be able to learn how to build your own Google Assistant app from the ground up with Dialogflow.
Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced Google Assistant developer, I hope this article was helpful to you! If you enjoyed this story, please click 👏 and share to make it easier for others to find it.