This past few months has seen quite some turnover in some groups at my workplace, one an administrative team and the other an I.T./Web-support team.
It got me to thinking this morning. While some churn is unavoidable and at a low level is probably good for an organization, it can also be corrosive when a proportionally large chunk of the team just goes away. It eats away at the knowledge and experience embodied by the team as a whole.
We like to think of operational software as some sort of abstract machine. Yet software is also what a team does to reflect upon, institute, and refine its own knowledge and behavior: it is a professional practice.
So when a bunch of people up and leave an organization, the practice can break down.