Recently, I got some feedback from a couple of readers which made me think about the technical background necessary to learn Dialogflow .
As you might know, the appeal of Dialogflow is that it is supposed to be a "low code" bot framework which does include NLU capabilities (unlike, say, Chatfuel). But Dialogflow is still "low-code" and not "no code".
Here is what one of my readers had to say:
Thanks for offering lots of useful stuff about Dialogflow. That tool looks that easy when you start with it and turns to be really difficult after a number of steps.
This is very true.
The second piece of feedback was a comical "insult within praise sandwich" from someone about my YouTube video series for non-programmers.
These are responses to my feedback survey:
What are the consequences of the problem not being solved?
My only "real" problem is not one of understanding the concepts behind DialogFlow, but rather I found the tutorial instructions on uploading the .csv file to our database to be vague. Initially I attempted to export my agent and upload the json file but none of the previews of the up-loadable files data tables looked correct. So upon perusing the comments section of that particular tutorial video I found a link to your site with instructions to either pay for a course or fill this survey out to obtain key resources.
What is one resource/course/tool related to Dialogflow that you wish was already available (but isn't)?
Over all I am very impressed by your tutorial strategy! not only did you offer a free video tutorial. You then broke your tutorial up into chunks to to maximize addspace potential for when/if the tutorial got popular, and to boot if the people want to complete this tutorial you have key resources hidden at the end that they will either pay for or fill out this survey. I think what you have done here is quite genius. I would like to thank you for your tutorials and I look forward to following more by you. Also I would like to apologize that these responses do not directly match your questions I hope this does not bother you.
In case you think this person is actually praising me, you should read the feedback one more time 🙂
Unfortunately, I can say from just their first response that this person simply isn't the right audience for Dialogflow, because the first answer clearly tells me that they have no clue what they are doing:
Initially I attempted to export my agent and upload the json file but none of the previews of the up-loadable files data tables looked correct.
Now, it is also quite possible that the YouTube video tutorials are just plain bad, and no one can make any sense of them, and I just have some devilish ploy going on to scramble everyone's brain and somehow get these people to buy my course to get these "key hidden resources".
Except that I have also received a lot of feedback from folks who managed to complete the entire series without any help (you can check out the video series, it is actually very simple to complete provided you are technical enough). Then there are a few who needed a little extra help, and I created a tutorial to help them out.
Let us get back to the question posed in the title:
Is your technical background sufficient for Dialogflow?
I have a simple test for you to see if you are technical enough to learn Dialogflow. Go through the video series and see if you can get everything set up end to end. If you cannot do it, my view is that your existing technical background is probably not sufficient for learning Dialogflow.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what you should do to become more technical. But I can tell you what not to do. Please don't send insulting feedback to people who make these tutorials. You might not like their response 🙂
A more concrete suggestion: if you find you are not technical enough for tools like Dialogflow, find a business partner who is technical and let them handle the technical stuff. Note: I actually distinguish between people who are technical, but are not programmers. and those who are plain non-technical (e.g. they don't know most of the features in their own smartphones). I am certainly not saying non-technical is somehow unintelligent. But there does seem to be a technical bar for people to be able to learn Dialogflow.
Do you have any thoughts/feedback/comments on this? Is my view unreasonable? Leave a comment below. (Note: I moderate comments, so there might be a little delay before it shows up).