Since April 1, 2020, LeetCode has been running a Daily LeetCoding Challenge. Every day, they designate one problem as the daily challenge problem. If you solve that problem before midnight UTC, it extends your daily challenge streak and you get some LeetCoins added to your account. Other benefits include contests, badges, and a monthly Discord study group.
This gamified daily challenge is a good way to make sure you don’t forget about regular LeetCode practice. Once you get a streak going, it gives you an incentive to visit the site every day and solve the daily problem. On Discord, the study group lets you chat with people who are also solving daily problems.
The daily problem is also a convenient way to pick which problem to solve next. Sites like Tech Interview Handbook and NeetCode have more sophisticated problem roadmaps. But you can’t beat the simplicity of opening LeetCode and clicking on the fire icon to open the daily problem. In recent months, the problems have even followed a weekly theme, which helps you practice a particular algorithm or technique a few different ways.
If you’re serious about practicing LeetCode and collecting model problems and solutions, you should approach each daily challenge problem as a potential model problem. As you’re solving a problem, consider whether it would make a good model problem. Is the problem slightly more difficult than you’re comfortable with? Does it cover a topic that you want to know better? Does it focus on the fundamentals of that topic rather than on extraneous details? And finally, is it a good problem that is worth writing up and practicing repeatedly? If it meets these criteria, add it to your model problem queue to consider when you’re ready to start a new problem.
Despite the benefits of the daily challenge, there are things to watch out for when integrating it into your overall practice system. I’ll cover those in the next tip.
This year, I’m publishing a series of tips for effective LeetCode practice. To read the tips in order, start with A Project for 2023.