My partner and I have worked as software engineers in academia for several years in multiple very different schools & departments. However every job has been very independent. I have a boss and coworkers but I end up working mostly independently and on very different projects than my coworkers.
My partner recently left academia and took a job as a software engineer at a startup. Instantly he has found himself in an extremely collaborative environment. He is regularly programming with another person and in close daily contact with several colleagues. I've heard things are similar from other people I know who work at startups.
Why is the culture at startups so collaborative and the culture in academia so independent? Is there a way I could influence the culture in my academia-based workplace to be more collaborative?
I am currently a staff data scientist at a large university medical school. In the past I've been a research programmer for a psychology lab and a web developer at a business school. I've been at the same university for 11 years.