I recently got a question from a reader if my training courses are up to date for May 2018? Since there have been quite a few updates to Dialogflow recently, I think this would be a good time to answer the question.
Training courses for technical topics can be divided into three types of material: building blocks, points of view and fast-changing.
These are the concepts in Dialogflow that I have on my blog sidebar. These are not likely to change even as Dialogflow evolves as they are the building blocks of any bot framework.
Most of the material in my existing courses are usually focused on the building blocks. While I do have some stuff which would fall under “fast changing” it is quite rare, and even when you see such material you can usually understand what is going on after watching the videos and going into Dialogflow’s console.
Points of view
My Dialogflow conversation design course has plenty of “point of view” lessons. These are not things that are likely to change over time, although it is quite possible you may not agree with my views.
Even if you end up disagreeing, I believe it is good for anyone using Dialogflow to think about the following as they build out their chatbots:
- what lifespan should you use for your contexts?
- when are followup intents appropriate? what are their limitations?
- why is it so hard to get slot filling to work consistently?
- how can you design a chatbot that is easy to reason about?
- how can you design a chatbot which is Chatbase friendly?
There are three topics I have omitted from my courses, for three different reasons (and all of them have one thing in common – these topics change quite fast).
- deep coverage of webhooks (I do discuss the basics in my course)
- REST API
- Actions on Google/Google Assistant/Google Home programming
I have explained in this post why it is hard to create learning material for webhooks. TL;DR – satisfactorily teaching webhooks for any given person’s stack (choice of programming language + database + cloud technology) is very hard.
As for the REST API, the Dialogflow team had already announced that they will be moving from API v1 to API v2 sometime around Nov 2017 (and most of my training material was created afterwards). So I decided to wait it out as I noticed the changes were quite significant from v1 to v2beta1.
Finally, the tooling for creating Google Assistant apps has been quite limited even until recently. They introduced the notion of alpha and beta testing of Assistant apps only during Google I/O 2018.
Over the next few months, I plan to address all these topics in my courses (although I am still not sure about the webhook programming course).
Learn Dialogflow Bundle
Since “Intro to Dialogflow” and “Dialogflow Conversation Design” courses are focused on building blocks and points of view type material, you can purchase them without any concern that the material is out of date. And if you notice anything which doesn’t work as expected, you can let me know via the discussion forum in the course and I will update it.
Lastly, you might also be interested in my “Learn Dialogflow” course bundle, in which I combine multiple courses and offer a substantial discount.