As an AI language model, I cannot give my own view as I am not trained on what LeetCode is and its importance in Programming. However, I have generated an article based on what I gathered from the internet about LeetCode and its vast significance in the Programming world.

LeetCode is known for being one of the best platforms for testing your programming skills. It's an online platform that provides hundreds of coding challenges across different categories, including data structures, algorithms, database design, and system design. The website was started in 2015 and has since gained enormous popularity among developers worldwide.

Why is LeetCode so important?

LeetCode is an ideal platform to improve your programming skills and learn new concepts. It helps you to better understand programming logic and also prepares you for technical interviews. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook have LeetCode-style questions on their job interviews. By practicing on LeetCode, you will familiarize yourself with these types of questions and be better equipped for success in job interviews.

Preparing for LeetCode:

The best way to prepare for LeetCode is to practice regularly. Start by choosing a language you are comfortable with; Java, Python, C++, and JavaScript are the most common languages used on the platform. Then, begin by solving the easier questions and gradually move on to the more complex ones.

It's essential to understand the problem completely before attempting to solve it. Read the problem statement carefully and identify the input and output parameters, constraints, and special cases. It's also vital that you understand the algorithms and data structures needed to solve the problem. Once you've understood the problem, write down the steps needed to solve it. This is where pseudocode comes in handy; it helps you to develop a basic algorithm for solving the problem.

After developing the algorithm and checking its correctness, start coding it. When coding, look out for edge cases and test cases. The edge cases are the special cases that the problem statement might not specify but still need to be handled. On the other hand, the test cases usually consist of simple input/output pairs that test the basic functionality of your code. Always test your code with several test cases to ensure it's working correctly.

LeetCode Examples:

Here are a few examples of LeetCode questions with their solutions in Python:

- Two Sum

Problem statement: Given an array of integers and a target value, find two numbers such that they add up to the target value.

Solution: One way to solve this problem is by using a hash table to store the complements of the elements in the array. For each element in the array, check if its complement exists in the hash table. If it does, return the indices of the two elements. Otherwise, add the element and its index to the hash table.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def twoSum(self, nums: List[int], target: int) -> List[int]:
hash_table = {}
for i, num in enumerate(nums):
complement = target - num
if complement in hash_table:
return [hash_table[complement], i]
hash_table[num] = i
```

- Longest Substring Without Repeating Characters

Problem statement: Given a string, find the length of the longest substring without repeating characters.

Solution: Sliding window approach can be a good solution to this problem. Here, we start iterating through the string, maintaining a dictionary of characters and their indices that we have already seen. We use two pointers, 'start' and 'end,' to start and end the window. For each character we encounter, if it doesn't exist in the dictionary, we add it to the dictionary with its current index as the value. If it does exist, we update the 'start' index to the right of the last occurrence of that character. We also update the dictionary with the new index of the character.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def lengthOfLongestSubstring(self, s: str) -> int:
char_index = {}
start = 0
max_len = 0
for i in range(len(s)):
if s[i] in char_index and start <= char_index[s[i]]:
start = char_index[s[i]] + 1
else:
max_len = max(max_len, i - start + 1)
char_index[s[i]] = i
return max_len
```

- Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum

Problem statement: Given a binary tree, find the maximum path sum. The path may start and end at any node in the tree.

Solution: This problem can be solved using recursion. For each node, we calculate the maximum sum that can be obtained by going through that node. To this end, we calculate the sum of the node's value, the maximum sum in the left subtree, and the maximum sum in the right subtree. We update the maximum path sum whenever we encounter a node whose maximum sum is greater than the current maximum path sum.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def maxPathSum(self, root: TreeNode) -> int:
self.max_sum = float('-inf')
def max_gain(node):
if not node:
return 0
left_gain = max(max_gain(node.left), 0)
right_gain = max(max_gain(node.right), 0)
node_gain = node.val + left_gain + right_gain
self.max_sum = max(self.max_sum, node_gain)
return node.val + max(left_gain, right_gain)
max_gain(root)
return self.max_sum
```

LeetCode is a fantastic platform for improving your programming skills and preparing for technical interviews. By regularly practicing on the platform, you will learn new concepts, become more comfortable with programming, and achieve greater success in job interviews.

I can elaborate on the three previous topics we discussed – Two Sum, Longest Substring Without Repeating Characters, and Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum.

Two Sum:

The problem statement for Two Sum is to find two numbers in an array that sum up to a target value. The solution presented using a hash table is one of the most efficient ways to solve this problem with a time complexity of O(n). The hash table stores the complement of each element in the array for each encounter. Whenever an element is encountered in the array, its complement is checked in the hash table. If the complement is found, it means that the two numbers sum up to the target value, and their indices are returned. Otherwise, the current element's complement is added to the hash table for any future encounters.

The Two Sum problem is essential in programming and has various applications in real-life scenarios. For example, it can be used to calculate the stock indices' values or for finding matching pairs of values in a database.

Longest Substring Without Repeating Characters:

The Longest Substring Without Repeating Characters problem is a crucial problem in string manipulation. The solution presented using a sliding window approach is an efficient way to solve this problem with a time complexity of O(n). The sliding window approach involves iterating through the string using two pointers – start and end. The start pointer marks the beginning of the substring, and the end pointer marks the end of the substring. We maintain a dictionary of characters and their indices that we have already seen. For each character encountered, if it is not present in the dictionary, it is added with its current index as the value. Otherwise, we update the start index to the right of the last occurrence of that character, and the dictionary is updated with the new index of the character. The maximum length of the substring without repeating characters is calculated by taking the maximum of the current length and the maximum length encountered before.

This problem has practical applications in cybersecurity, where it can be used to analyze suspicious strings of characters or determine if a string of characters is unique or not.

Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum:

The Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum problem is a crucial problem in tree traversal. The solution presented using recursion is an effective way to solve the problem with a time complexity of O(n). The maximum path sum for any node is calculated by adding the node's value, the maximum sum in the left subtree, and the maximum sum in the right subtree. We update the maximum path sum whenever we encounter a node whose maximum sum is greater than the current maximum path sum. The final solution is obtained by selecting the maximum path sum encountered in the tree.

This problem has practical applications in computer graphics, where it can be used to optimize the graphics rendering process and minimize the computational time. It is also important in database management to analyze hierarchical data, such as file directories, organizational charts, and genealogical trees.

In conclusion, each of the problems we discussed has its own significance in programming and real-life scenarios. Developing solutions for these problems improves your programming skills and prepares you for technical interviews.

## Popular questions

Here are five LeetCode questions along with their code examples and answers:

- Reverse integer:

Problem: Given a 32-bit integer x, return its reversed digits. If reversing x causes the value to go outside the signed 32-bit integer range [-2^31,2^31 – 1], then return 0.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def reverse(self, x: int) -> int:
if x < 0:
rev = -1 * int(str(-x)[::-1])
else:
rev = int(str(x)[::-1])
return rev if abs(rev) < 2**31 else 0
```

Answer: In this problem, we first check if the given integer x is negative or not. If x is negative, we reverse the string obtained by converting its absolute value into a string, and prepend it with the negative sign. If it is positive, we reverse the string obtained by converting it into a string. Finally, we check if the reversed integer lies within the 32-bit signed range and return 0 if it doesn't.

- Two Sum II – Input array is sorted:

Problem: Given an array of integers that is already sorted in non-decreasing order, find two numbers such that they add up to a specific target number. The function should return the indices of the two numbers in the array.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def twoSum(self, numbers: List[int], target: int) -> List[int]:
i, j = 0, len(numbers)-1
while i < j:
s = numbers[i] + numbers[j]
if s == target:
return [i+1, j+1]
elif s > target:
j -= 1
else:
i += 1
```

Answer: In this problem, we use the two-pointer approach to optimize the solution. We initialize two pointers, one to the start of the array and the other to the end of the array. We then calculate the sum of the elements at these two pointers. If the sum is equal to the target value, we return the indices of the two elements. Otherwise, if the sum is greater than the target value, we decrement the pointer pointing to the end of the array, and if it is less than the target value, we increment the pointer pointing to the start of the array.

- Climbing Stairs:

Problem: You are climbing a staircase with n steps. Each time you can either climb 1 or 2 steps. Return the number of distinct ways to climb to the top.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def climbStairs(self, n: int) -> int:
if n == 1:
return 1
first, second = 1, 2
for i in range(2, n):
third = first + second
first = second
second = third
return second
```

Answer: In this problem, we use dynamic programming to optimize the solution. We define two variables representing the distinct ways to climb up the stairs for one step and two steps, respectively. We then iterate through the remaining steps, adding the previous two steps' distinct ways to climb to calculate the current step's distinct ways. Finally, we return the variable representing the distinct ways to climb up the stairs for n steps.

- Reverse linked list:

Problem: Given the head of a singly linked list, reverse the list, and return the reversed list's new head.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def reverseList(self, head: ListNode) -> ListNode:
prev = None
curr = head
while curr:
next_node = curr.next
curr.next = prev
prev = curr
curr = next_node
return prev
```

Answer: In this problem, we use an iterative approach to optimize the solution. We initialize two pointers, one pointing to the head of the linked list, and the other to None. We then iterate through the linked list, setting the current node's next pointer to the previous node and updating the previous node as the current node. Finally, we return the new head of the reversed linked list.

- Squares of a sorted array:

Problem: Given an integer array nums sorted in non-decreasing order, return an array of the squares of each number sorted in non-decreasing order.

Code example:

```
class Solution:
def sortedSquares(self, nums: List[int]) -> List[int]:
left, right = 0, len(nums)-1
res = [0] * len(nums)
idx = len(nums)-1
while left <= right:
if abs(nums[left]) > abs(nums[right]):
res[idx] = nums[left] ** 2
left += 1
else:
res[idx] = nums[right] ** 2
right -= 1
idx -= 1
return res
```

Answer: In this problem, we use the two-pointer approach to optimize the solution. We initialize two pointers, one to the start of the array and the other to the end of the array. We then compare the absolute values of the elements at these two pointers. If the absolute value of the element at the left pointer is greater than the element at the right pointer, we square the element at the left pointer and add it to the resultant array. Otherwise, we square the element at the right pointer and add it to the resultant array. Finally, we decrement the index to add the next element to the reverse of the resultant array.

### Tag

"Codeathon"