JavaScript
Article
By Angela Molina

Introducing: Chatbots with Our First Mini Course

By Angela Molina

Most of you who visit SitePoint are on a quest to learn. When we run into a problem, we quickly search for a solution. If we’re not familiar enough with a web topic, or want to expand our knowledge in a particular skill set or tool, we look for quick lessons to teach us more. We’re always researching.

With increasing time constraints, it can be hard finding time to work/study, eat, socialize, and sleep. There’s no wonder we tend to put our bookmarked 2-6 hour course on the backburner. We get it.

That’s why we’re happy to introduce Mini Courses, it’s a shorter course especially made for your quick breaks.

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What Makes Mini Courses Different from Courses?

Apart from it being shorter, you’ll also notice that mini-courses are a lot more focused, and really explore a topic, skipping the fundamental basics of web development.

We’ll dig deep into niche topics, frameworks, and tools, giving you a larger library to learn from.

The biggest and best news is… it’s free! That’s right. You will need to be a SitePoint user to access our Mini Courses, but that’s as simple as a click of a button to join.

When is Our first Mini Course Available?

Today! We’ve just launched our very first Mini Course on MS Bots.

Bots have slowly been taking over the development landscape, with predictions that they will cause a decline in app development. Now you can learn about what’s involved in developing your very own chatbot using the Microsoft Bot Framework.

Mini Wooden Bot Chatbot

What will MS Bots cover?

In this 1-hour course, we’ll also show you how to incorporate smart tools such as a LUIS.ai, a language comprehension tool for your bot. No chatbot is truly complete without having a human touch, and that’s available through the Text Analytic API for sentiment analysis and appropriate bot responses. By the end, you’ll have built a Skype bot that recommends movies using all the tools I’ve mentioned above and more.

What exactly will you be learning and how? Let’s dig a little deeper into these lessons.

  1. Getting started with the Microsoft Bot Frameworks
    We’ll show you how to get up and ready to create your first Skype bot using the Microsoft Bot Framework.
  2. Testing Skype Bots
    You’ll always find you run into bugs when developing anything. We’ll show you how to debug your Skype bot using the ngrok inspection tool, and test it using the Bot Framework Emulator.
  3. Natural Language Processing with LUIS
    No one likes a one-sided conversation, so we’ll create models in LUIS for our bot to understand and process natural language.
  4. Microsoft Cognitive Services with the Text Analytics API
    Apart from one-sided conversations, everyone wants to feel understood. We’ll integrate the Text Analytics API into our chat bot so our bot can chat accordingly with sentiment.
  5. Formatting Messages with Cards
    This is for the designer in you. We’ll show you (and your bot) how to format your Skype messages with images and buttons.
  6. The Azure Bot Service
    The Azure Bot Service is an industry first bot-as-a-service, service. We’ll teach you how to use this integrated online environment for this and all other bot development you may work on.

MS Bots is a fun course to take, but we do recommend that you have a good understanding of Node.js to make the most of it. If you need to brush up on Node.js, here’s a course you could take.

Are you ready to start your chatbot adventure? The real question is, after taking this quick course, what will your next chatbot do?

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