## Parameters

n: Gary’s number of steps taken on his hike.

s: a single string showing each step (U(up) & D(down))

## Constraints

n: min = 2, max= 10^6 (1,000,000) s: will consist of the letters U or D

## Output Format

Print a single integer that denotes the number of valleys Gary walked through during his hike.

## Sample Input

8, UDDDUDUU

```
sealevel ____/\ ____ sealevel
\ /
\/\/
```

## Sample Output

1

## Thought Process Breakdown

I have been trying to train myself to not jump right into the code and to really wrap my mind around what the question is asking first.

- We need to split the given string s to track each step.

- create a variable for each step:steps and split it into an array of substrings

- We need a count of how many times Gary enters a valley during his hike.

- create a variable for each valley entered:valleyCount

- We need to keep track of Gary’s current sea level status

- create a variable for Gary’s current sea level:currentSeaLevel

- We need to know the sea level status so that we can tell when he has left one valley and entered another.

- create a variable forvalleyStatus

- We need to look through each step in the substring steps and do some if/else statements depending on the currentSeaLevel and valleyStatus
- We need to return the valley count after analyzing each step:

- return valleyCount

These are the first things I would write in my function in pseudocode:

```
function countingValleys(n, s) {
let steps = s.split("");
let valleyCount = 0;
let currentSeaLevel = 0;
let valleyStatus = false;
***analyze each step
return valleyCount;
}
```

Now thinking about how to analyze each step:

- I am thinking that a forEach() method would be useful here.

```
steps.forEach(step => do something...)
```

- If the step is U(up), add one to the currentSeaLevel variable, and the opposite if D(down)
- If the currentSeaLevelis less than 0 and if Gary’s valleyStatus is checked as false, we will add 1 to the currentSeaLevel and set the valleyStatus to true.
- If the currentSeaLevelis greater than or equal to 0 and if Gary’s valleyStatus is checked as true, set the valleyStatus to false and continue

## Here’s my solution without comments:

```
function countingValleys(n, s) {
let steps = s.split("");
let valleyCount = 0;
let currentSeaLevel = 0;
let valleyStatus = false;
steps.forEach(step => {
step === 'U' ? currentSeaLevel++ : currentSeaLevel--;
if(currentSeaLevel < 0 && !valleyStatus) {
valleyCount++;
valleyStatus = true
} else if(currentLevel >= 0 && valleyStatus) {
valleyStatus= false
}
})
return valleyCount;
}
```

## Big O Notation

It’s always important to consider the BigO of your solution. Big0 allows us to talk formally about how the runtime of an algorithm grows as the inputs grow.

For this solution, the BigO would be linear, O(n). The runtime grows as the input grows.

## My solution with more comments

Similar to my thought process breakdown above but with more comments to explain each step.

```
function countingValleys(n, s) {
```

This splits the passed in string `s`

into an array of substrings (Gary’s individual steps up and down).*

Example:

`steps=[U,D,D,D,U,D,U,U]`

instead of`UDDDUDUU`

.

```
let steps = s.split("");
```

Create a variable for valleys traversed

```
let valleyCount = 0;
```

Create a variable for Gary’s current sea level

```
let currentSeaLevel = 0;
```

Gary doesn’t start any hikes already in a valley

```
let valleyStatus = false;
```

forEach() step in the steps array

```
steps.forEach(step => {
```

if the step is U(up), add one to the currentSeaLevel variable, and the opposite if D(down)

```
step === 'U' ? currentSeaLevel++ : currentSeaLevel--;
```

if the currentSeaLevel is less than 0 (Gary is in a valley, since he started at sea level)

&& (*both of these statements need to be true for the following to occur)

if Gary’s valleyStatus is checked as false

```
if(currentSeaLevel < 0 && !valleyStatus) {
valleyCount++;
valleyStatus = true
}
```

else, if the sea level is 0 or above

&&

if the valleyStatus is true

set the valleyStatus to false and continue

```
else if(currentSeaLevel >= 0 && valleyStatus) {
valleyStatus = false
}
})
}
```

after each step in steps has been checked, return the # of valleys Gary hiked through

```
return valleyCount;
}
```

I’m sure there are other potentially much better ways to solve this, but this is a nice simple way that made sense to me. I think simplicity is important in code. Feel free to leave comments!

Make it so! 🚀🌀

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