"We used to make all the pennies for the U.S. government."
– Richard Durbin, Vice President, Information Systems

Manufacturer Large shop


Ball Corporation, formerly known for its manufacture of glass jars for home canning, is now a diversified company specializing in the manufacture of glass items, food and beverage cans, and aerospace products.

Founded in the 1880's, Ball is a publicly-held corporation. Corporate headquarters are in Muncie, Indiana; revenues are $2.5 billion. Ball has 14,400 employees. The aerospace business, which is largely government work, represents about 60 percent of the company's revenue. Ball has long been known, and received awards, for the quality of its products and level of customer service. The company is extensively involved in the community, both at the corporate level and the individual employees' levels. The company actively supports and helps to fund Ball State University and Ball Hospital.



While Ball now has an IBM 3084 and 3081, the company is actively moving to a client-server environment. They have clusters of DEC VAX and IBM AS/400 machines and thousands of IBM PCs, connected through Novell NetWare LANs. Older systems are written in COBOL under CICS, but computer professionals use ORACLE on the LANs. The company is moving to commercial financial applications packages.

Ball employs approximately 200 computer professionals. They work in one of three large data centers, the corporate controller's office, the Technology Services division, or the Systems and Planning division. Job titles include Programmer Analyst and three levels of Systems Analyst, after which there is a dual career path. Consultants are senior technical professionals, and managers and directors are the next levels for the management path.

Approximately 75 percent of the work at Ball is new development. Ball is using Total Quality Management (TQM) techniques as it migrates from System 36 machines to AS/400s and off-the-shelf financial application packages.


Computer professionals all work cubicles. The company is moving toward a nonsmoking environment but still retains a small smoking room at headquarters. Computer professionals need to travel about 10 percent of the time in the Technical Services division, but there is no need for travel in the Systems and Planning division. Normal summer hours are 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM; otherwise regular hours are 8 AM to 5 PM. There is often a need for overtime. Computer professionals typically work 45 to 50 hours a week. Overtime is not compensated. Ball has a low turnover rate. Among its employee incentives are an annual honors program and a year-end picnic.

Ball observes ten holidays. The company offers two weeks of vacation to start, up to a maximum of four weeks. The company offers a cafeteria plan of benefits, including medical, disability, dental, and life insurance; tuition reimbursement; retirement plan; dependent care reimbursement; and bonus plans.

The only significant layoff at Ball was in the aerospace business (Colorado) in 1992. Affected employees were given a severance package based on their length of service with the company, outplacement services, resume preparation services, and an answering service for job inquiries.


Ball rarely hires experienced computer professionals. The company looks for entry-level computer professionals with a strong work ethic, an interest in Ball as a company, and a desire to be part of the team. Most candidates are found through advertisements, universities such as Ball State, and internal job postings. The average level of experience of the current Information Systems staff is fifteen years; the average level of education is a Bachelor's degree or better. Ball typically hires 15 to 20 computer professionals a year.


Either a letter or a phone call is fine. Calls should be followed by a letter with a resume.

Human Resources Department

(317) 747-6100

Ball Corporation

345 S. High Street

Muncie, Indiana 47305

Copyright 1995. Carol L. Covin. Covin’s Midwest Computer Job Guide