The culture is collaborative. We don’t have a limited number of As, Bs and Cs to hand out, so students are not competing against each other for grades. The goal is for everyone to find employment as a software engineer, and the class moves towards that goal together. Peer students are a great resource during the course, and it is common to find students explaining concepts to each other day and night.
One side-effect of the close collaboration of the course is that students bond strongly with each other and years after the course, fellow students remain amongst their best and closest friends.