•   almost 2 years ago

Fairness

Just got notified that extra time is being given for those skills that haven't been certified yet, even though it clearly states that if your skill isn't certified by Feb. 17 then it gets disqualified. I'm not a bad sport and really don't want to see anybody get disqualified.

However, I submitted by skill on Jan. 9th and it was certified by the morning of the 10th. I had a minor fix in the interaction model I had wanted to get in and wrote support to see if that would be possible, this was the response:

"Thanks for writing in. You can make updates and changes up until the deadline on January 10th, 2018 at 5pm EST. If you update your skill I believe you’ll have to submit it for certification again. You have until January 17th for the skill to be certified."

I didn't want to risk anything happening, especially since I had already got certified, but if I would've known that the 17th would be not a hard deadline, I certainly would've resubmitted with my change.

So . . . just venting. Good luck to everyone.

  • 10 comments

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    I understand where you’re coming from. Being certified was part of the rules. It’s part of the challenge? With 400+ submissions, the extension isn’t really fair. I hope it’s not much longer. I want kids to have good skills but just giving feedback for the competition.

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    Jeff, you should probably read closer -- the extra time given only counts if you met the first deadline. And it's being given because Amazon is behind. This isn't a handout to let others sneak in. I agree that it seems a touch unfair at first glance, but it was your choice to decided to not do one final tweak, something that was in your control and you took the conservative path (I would have too, honestly).

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    We were advised, repeatedly, to submit early and provide ample time for certification. Some people did that, some didn't. Those who waited until near the deadline took a risk of not being certified, and this risk was spelled out very clearly.

    On the other hand, people who submitted early to make sure to be certified may have had to sacrifice features that could have improved their entry.

    Changing the rules after the fact penalizes the people who took the rules and the warnings about certification timelines seriously. It unfairly benefs those people who did not meet the deadline for certification. There was always going to be a backlog at the end and longer certification times. It's not reasonable to blame this on Amazon.

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    @Chris, like Jeff, you took the wiser and safer path to submit early expecting the certification path to be unpredictable and likely long. Smart move for sure. In the end, though, the certification team at Alexa is known for throwing things back over the wall quickly. In my case, I got 3 responses in 5 days (the first was fast but not totally useful), and others are yet to have a single response. Seems like the final participant in the contest, the skills team, is the wildcard here.

    Besides, the extended timeline notice isn't even that precise -- they are kinda hand-waving about whether you'd be disqualified or not. Notice no new timeline has been announced, just that they leaving room for a few exceptions. I no longer have skin in this game but I feel it's reasonable for a case-by-case exception if the Alexa team is having internal issues at the last minute.

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    Once your skill is certified, they don't uncertify it. I know it's to late for you know, but you could have resubmitted it, fearlessly.

    I am very thankful that they have extended the deadline, as it has taken several days for feedback. (Minor Issues) I'm sure the review team is hard at work.

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    @Kevin, I realize once you get certified you don't get uncertified. However, submitting a new version still requires a new certification, and in my mind, there was a risk that this certification date could be past the deadline and therefore be grounds for disqualification. At any rate, good luck with yours.

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    @Kevin, what's your experience with the recert side of things? Is the cert team responsive?

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    I totally agree Jeff. We also submitted early for those same reasons and had we known the same, then we could have theoretically added more content to our skill if we knew we had more time. Moreover, from a legal perspective, there are pretty stringent laws regarding how one administers a contest or competition and unilaterally changing the rules can be problematic. I would appreciate more transparency with how they're making these decisions and if they're going to extend the deadline, I'd also appreciate that they said how long and not leave us all hanging.

  • Manager   •   almost 2 years ago

    Hi All,

    Thank you for posting your concerns. We take them all seriously. Please be assured that every action we take is in service of the rules and to protect all the submitters who followed the rules.

    If there ever are any unique certification cases that require the extension of the certification period, it is only because the Alexa team -- not the developer -- requires time to investigate in order to ensure fairness and compliance with the rules.

    Thanks again,
    Stefanie

  •   •   almost 2 years ago

    Personally, if my skill does well in this competition, I want it to be because the idea and execution were good, not because my competitors got stuck in a bureaucratic snafu.

    I submitted/was certified on time (and even re-certified for a change late on 1/17), but I feel for those who are stuck in the process.

    It would suck to work hard on an entry just to have it disqualified due to a drawn-out certification.

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