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An Amazon Alexa rep talks to attendees at CES. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Amazon Web Services plans to launch a certification program Tuesday that will give developers building so-called “skills” for its Echo digital assistants a way to verify their abilities.

The AWS Certified Skill Builder – Specialty certification will be awarded to developers who pass an exam testing their ability to design, build, and maintain voice-activated applications designed to work with the Echo devices. AWS suggested that developers interested in the program have six months of experience with the technology, at least one skill published in the Alexa marketplace, and passing knowledge of a major programming language, according to a blog post scheduled to go live Tuesday morning.

If enough people get past the notion of having an always-ready listening device in their homes and offices, voice assistants like the Amazon Echo could offer third-party developers as much opportunity as the proliferation of the smartphone did for mobile app developers. As it stands, more than 100 million devices running Alexa have been sold, and that’s a big enough platform to attract third-party developers.

AWS offers training programs and certifications for many different areas of cloud computing expertise, but said this is the first certification program directly related to Alexa. Developers interested in the program can find more information here.

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