Peter Mattis is an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and business executive. He is the Vice President of Engineering for Cockroach Labs, a company he co-founded in 2014. His work as a programmer includes launching GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) while still in college, and assisting the source code development of CockroachDB, the namesake software of Cockroach Labs.
Mattis attended the University of California at Berkeley. While still a student in 1995, he developed the first version of GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), along with his roommate Spencer Kimball. Mattis was also a member of a student club at Berkeley called the eXperimental Computing Facility (XCF). Mattis graduated from Berkeley in 1997 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
According to Mattis in 1999:
On free software and the motivations to write it and what makes good and enduring free software:
Mattis was previously employed as an engineer for Google, and is credited for his work Google Servlet Engine as well as helping spearhead Colossus, a new version of the Google File System.
In 2013, Mattis launched the company Viewfinder along with Kimball and Brian McGinnis, formerly of Lehman Brothers. The company developed an app that allowed social media users to share photos, chat privately, and search photo history without leaving the app. The company was acquired by Square, Inc. in December 2013. Mattis moved to Square's New York City office where he became a senior member of the company's East Coast team.
While at Google, Mattis used a database known as BigTable, and followed the development of its next generation, known as Spanner. The database organizes data between thousands of servers to allow Google applications to stay online, even if an entire data center were to go offline. Mattis wanted to use this software but found there was nothing available outside of Google as either closed or open source that was similar.
He launched CockroachDB as an open source project on GitHub with Kimball, along with ex-Google Reader team member Ben Darnell. They later formed the company Cockroach Labs in order to accelerate development of the CockroachDB software. Mattis serves as the company's vice president of engineering and also contributes to the source code development of CockroachDB.
Mattis is active in CrossFit and was named CrossFit Brooklyn's athlete of the month in January 2014.