DEV Community

Nilesh Raut

Posted on • Originally published at nileshblog.tech on

Cracking the Code: Solving LeetCode 896 - Monotonic Array

Introduction: Navigating the World of Coding Challenges

Coding challenges, such as those found on LeetCode, are like a thrilling journey through a dense forest. Each challenge represents a unique trail filled with riddles and puzzles that test our problem-solving skills. In this post, we'll explore one such trail: LeetCode 896, also known as the "Monotonic Array" problem. We'll embark on this adventure together, dissecting the problem and crafting a solution step by step.

Deciphering LeetCode 896: The Monotonic Array

Imagine you're hiking up a mountain, and the terrain is either sloping upwards or downwards. A monotonic array is like that trail; it's a list of numbers that's consistently increasing or decreasing. In this coding challenge, we're given an array, and our task is to determine if it's monotonic.

Let's take a closer look at the problem statement:

``````Input: [1, 2, 2, 3]
Output: True

Input: [6, 5, 4, 4]
Output: True

Input: [1, 3, 2]
Output: False
``````

Navigating the Coding Trail

We start by defining our strategy. To tackle this problem, we can traverse the array and compare adjacent elements. If they are in non-decreasing or non-increasing order, we continue. If we find just one pair of elements that doesn't fit this pattern, we can confidently say the array isn't monotonic.

Let's break down the process into steps:

Step 1: Handling Edge Cases

Before diving into the loop, we must consider edge cases. What if the array has zero or only one element? In such cases, we can instantly declare it as monotonic because there's nothing to compare. Easy, right?

Step 2: Looping Through the Array

We loop through the array, comparing each pair of adjacent elements. If we encounter a pair that doesn't align with the direction (either increasing or decreasing), we break the loop and declare the array as non-monotonic.

Step 3: Mission Accomplished

If the loop completes without finding any conflicting pair of elements, we declare the array as monotonic. It's like reaching the mountain's summit – you've conquered the coding challenge!

Example in Python

Let's see our solution in Python:

``````def isMonotonic(A):
if len(A) <= 1:
return True

increasing = decreasing = True

for i in range(1, len(A)):
if A[i] > A[i - 1]:
decreasing = False
elif A[i] < A[i - 1]:
increasing = False

if not increasing and not decreasing:
return False

return True
``````

Conclusion: Conquering the Coding Summit

In our journey through the LeetCode 896 Monotonic Array challenge, we've successfully cracked the code by developing an efficient Python solution. Like skilled adventurers, we learned how to navigate coding trails, handle edge cases, and make the right decisions at each turn.

Remember, coding challenges are like adventures – they require strategy, patience, and a willingness to learn from your mistakes. By practicing regularly, you'll become a coding explorer, ready to conquer new coding summits.

So, what's next on your coding adventure? Whether it's another LeetCode challenge or a new project, remember that each step brings you closer to becoming a coding master. Happy coding!