"I look for creative thinkers who have initiative and can get the job done."
– Jimmy McCollough, Director, IT

IBM 9000, Teradata COBOL, DB2 SAS, ORACLE
Airline Large shop


Delta Airlines, Inc., is a publicly-held airline based in Atlanta, Georgia. With 63,000 employees, Delta is the third largest airline in the world. Delta was fifth on the list of Georgia's 100 top businesses ranked by revenue in 1995. It won the J.D. Powers annual award in 1995 as the best short and long haul domestic carrier as measured by on-time performance, value for the dollar, and customer service.

Delta's Chief Information Officer (CIO) and staff manage Information Technology for Delta. Worldspan manages the airline's IMS reservation system. Transquest (profiled elsewhere in this guide), a joint venture between Delta and AT&T, manages marketing, human resources, airport technologies, communications, cargo systems, and scanners for the airline.



Approximately 40 percent of Delta's legacy systems have been converted to a client-server environment; 10 percent more are being added yearly. The legacy system includes an IBM MVS 9000, running COBOL, CICS, DB2, VM, SAS, Easytrieve, and FORTRAN applications. The client-server environment includes Sun, Teradata, and AT&T GIS (NCR) platforms, as well as more than 10,000 PCs, running C++, ORACLE, EDI, and imaging applications, with a $100 million frame relay communications backbone.

Delta's 150 computer professionals are distributed to business units in marketing, human resources, customer service, and aircraft operations. Job titles include Analyst, Senior Analyst I-II, Technical Specialist, Technical Consultant I-III (combining IT and a business area specialty), Manager, and General Manager. Staff members recently implemented a sales force automation project that provides sales staff with updates on travel agencies and corporate accounts. The system was written in Visual Basic and C and accesses Sybase databases through dial-in capability from laptop PCs.


Computer professionals work in cubicles and offices. Standard office hours are 8 AM to 5 PM, with an average week of 50 hours and no paid overtime. Travel represents five percent of a staff member's time on average. Delta offers its computer professionals an employee-focused environment with a solid company, competitive salaries and benefits, and daily technical challenges.

Delta observes 10 to 12 holidays a year. Employees earn two weeks of vacation after the first year, increasing every five years to a maximum of four weeks. The company pays for medical, dental, and disability insurance, and part of the costs of tuition reimbursement. There is a company-funded retirement plan. Employees receive flight passes on a graduated schedule from one observation flight during the first six months of employment to three domestic flights a year for the employee, spouse, children, or parents. After ten years of employment, employees and family members are offered unlimited domestic and some international flights.


Job candidates should have a combination of excellent technical skills and a business understanding of how technology is applied. Persistence, the ability to communicate, and to work and play well with others are critical skills for defining and implementing the company's information technology strategy. Current staff members have an average of 10 to 12 years of experience; most have Bachelor's degrees.

Delta does hire entry-level computer professionals. Entry-level candidates should be dependable and creative, and have good communication skills. A Bachelor's degree in Information Systems, Industrial Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics is helpful. The company's five new computer professionals a year are typically found through unsolicited resumes or an applicant pool the company maintains.


Letters are preferred.

Mr. Jimmy McCullough, Director, Information Technology

Delta Airlines, Inc.

Hartsfield International Airport

Atlanta, Georgia 30320

(404) 715-6157

Copyright 1998. Carol L. Covin. Covin’s Southeast Computer Job Guide