A tourist visiting England’s Eton College asked the gardener how he got the lawns so perfect. “That’s easy,” he replied, “You just brush off the dew every morning, mow them every other day, and roll them once a week.”

“Is that all?” asked the tourist.

“Absolutely,” replied the gardener. “Do that for 500 years and you’ll have a nice lawn, too.”

Great lawns need small amounts of daily care, and so do great programmers. Management consultants like to drop the word kaizen in conversations. “Kaizen” is a Japanese term that captures the concept of continuously making many small improvements. It was considered to be one of the main reasons for the dramatic gains in productivity and quality in Japanese manufacturing and was widely copied throughout the world. Kaizen applies to individuals, too. Every day, work to refine the skills you have and to add new tools to your repertoire. Unlike the Eton lawns, you’ll start seeing results in a matter of days. Over the years, you’ll be amazed at how your experience has blossomed and your skills have grown.

From: The Pragmatic Programmer