# JavaScript Katas: Position in Alphabet

## Intro 🌐

Problem solving is an important skill, for your career and your life in general.

That's why I take interesting katas of all levels, customize them and explain how to solve them.

## Understanding the Exercise❗

First, we need to understand the exercise!
If you don't understand it, you can't solve it!.

My personal method:

1. Input: What do I put in?
2. Output: What do I want to get out?

### Today's exercise

Source: Codewars

Write a function positionInAlphabet, that accepts one parameter: myChar.

Given a one-char string, e.g. "a",
return the message "Position in Alphabet: [position]", e.g. "Position in Alphabet: 1".
If the input is uppercase, handle it like a lowercase character.

Input: a string.

Output: a string.

## Thinking about the Solution 💭

I think I understand the exercise (= what I put into the function and what I want to get out of it).

Now, I need the specific steps to get from input to output.

I try to do this in small baby steps:

1. Convert the character into lowercase
2. Find the position of the char in the alphabet
3. Return the desired message with the position

Example:

• Input: "a"
• Convert the character into lowercase: "a"
• Find the position of the char in the alphabet: 1
• Return the desired message with the position: "Position in Alphabet: 1"
• Output: "Position in Alphabet: 1"

## Implementation (charCodeAt) ⛑

function positionInAlphabet(myChar) {
const DIFFERENCE_CHARCODE_AND_LETTERS = 96;

// Convert the character into lowercase
const myCharLowercase = myChar.toLowerCase();

// Find the position of the char in the alphabet
const position = myCharLowercase.charCodeAt() - DIFFERENCE_CHARCODE_AND_LETTERS;

// Return the desired message with the position
return Position in Alphabet: ${position} }  Where do we get the 96 from? When we go to the ASCII Table and scroll down to the a in the Char column, we can see 97 in the Number column. So our 1. char has the number 97, our 2. char has number 98 etc., meaning there is a difference of 96 between the char code (the Number column) and the actual char (the Char column). ### Result console.log(positionInAlphabet("a")); // 1 ✅ console.log(positionInAlphabet("Z")); // 26 ✅  ## Implementation (indexOf) ⛑ function positionInAlphabet(myChar) { const letters = ["a","b","c","d","e","f","g","h","i","j","k","l","m","n","o","p","q","r","s","t","u","v","w","x","y","z"]; // Convert the character into lowercase const myCharLowercase = myChar.toLowerCase(); // Find the position of the char in the alphabet const position = letters.indexOf(myCharLowercase) + 1; // Return the desired message with the position return Position in Alphabet:${position};
}


### Result

console.log(positionInAlphabet("a"));
// 1 ✅

console.log(positionInAlphabet("Z"));
// 26  ✅


## Playground ⚽

You can play around with the code here

## Next Part ➡️

Great work!

We learned how to use toLowerCase, charCodeAt, indexOf.

I hope you can use your new learnings to solve problems more easily!

Next time, we'll solve another interesting kata. Stay tuned!

If I should solve a specific kata, shoot me a message here.

If you want to read my latest stuff, get in touch with me!

## Questions ❔

• How often do you do katas?
• Which implementation do you like more? Why?
• Any alternative solution?

Posted on by:

### miku86

Mentor & Educator & Senior Web Developer - I help people to reach their (career) goals. => https://miku86.com/mentoring

### Discussion

Nice!

(Btw, you can use .indexOf on strings too)

My weird takes:

A regex approach

const positionInAlphabet = c => 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'
.replace(new RegExp(c + '.*', 'i') , c).length


Parsing with alphabet radix (26 + 10 for 0-9 numbers)

const positionInAlphabet = c => Number.parseInt(c, 36) - 9


Michael, make em a bit harder, please, to leave us some space for creativity :)

Hey Kostia,

nice solution!

I probably wouldn't ever use my array solution,
because the prettier formatting would blocked the whole screen vertically haha.