"We are a very family-oriented company."
– Ron Sonnenberg, Director of Computer Systems

Mainframe, client-server COBOL, IMS, C++
Heavy equipment manufacturer Large shop


John Deere tractors are known worldwide for their reliability. A recent country song immortalizes the color "John Deere green." Deere's newest line of tractors features transmissions with 19 speeds, a creeper option that reduces speed to 13 feet per minute, and a turning ratio that allows farmers to go directly to the next row without making a wide roundhouse turn at the end.

Today's product line includes an antierosion mulcher, self-propelled low-drift chemical sprayer, and no-till drill which plants crops through the previous year's stubble. Deere and Company has three major subsidiaries: John Deere Insurance and John Deere Health Care, both in Moline, Illinois; and John Deere Credit in Des Moines, Iowa.

Founded in 1837, Deere and Company has more than 35,000 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Moline, Illinois, and publicly held, Deer and Company's revenues are $6.9 billion.

The Davenport and Dubuque factories recently qualified for the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001, a quality performance measure for manufacturers. The company was listed in both editions of The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America. Its employees serve on local school boards and city councils and the company actively supports the YMCA, the United Way, and its nonprofit John Deere Foundation, a major supporter of college engineering scholarships.



Deere and Company's data processing shop includes IBM mainframes and UNIX-based Sun RS/6000 client-server platforms, with Sun, PC, and Macintosh workstations connected over an SNA network. Most programming is in COBOL, under IMS/DB/DC and CICS, and the APS COBOL code generator. Additional software development is in C and C++.

Deere and Company employs more than 900 computer professionals company-wide, with the majority working in its financial and health care subsidiaries. More than 130 computer professionals work at headquarters. Job titles include Programmer, Systems Analyst, Data Analyst, and Project Manager. Approximately 40 percent of the work is new development; the balance is maintenance. Staff members are designing a computer-aided process planning system that relies on the size and shape of parts to determine the route for manufacturing, whether they are cut and bent or machined.


Computer professionals work in cubicles in a nonsmoking environment. The company offers competitive salaries and challenging work. Computer professionals may need to travel to assist factories. Overtime (not compensated) averages two to five hours a week.

Deere and Company observes 13 holidays a year. The company offers three weeks of vacation the first year to a maximum of five weeks. The company offers medical, disability, dental, and life insurance; tuition reimbursement; profit-sharing plan; and company-paid retirement program. Deere and Company had a layoff in the 1980s. Affected employees were given one month of pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of twelve months.


Deere and Company looks for candidates with good communication and interpersonal skills. As the company moves to distributed systems, management is looking for more candidates with C++ and UNIX experience. The company does hire entry-level computer professionals with Computer Science or Management Information Systems degrees. The current staff has an average of 15 to 20 years of experience. Two-thirds of the staff have college degrees. Throughout the 1980s, Deere and Company was downsizing and did not hire any computer professionals. When they are hiring, they find most candidates through college recruiting.


A letter with a resume is preferred.

Computer Recruiting

(309) 765-8000

Deere & Company

John Deere Road

Moline, Illinois 61265

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