Christopher Peiffer


9/94 - 6/98 : Undergraduate

Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Bachelor of Science, computer science.


11/18 - present : Owner/Manager

Elgaria Ranch, Petaluma, CA

Starting from land with no agricultural history we have expanded into a functioning 130-acre ranch producing food from orchards, cattle ranching and vegetable farming. The core of our practice is capturing carbon and water in the land. Some strategies we use include deep tillage, seed drilling cover crops, composting, silvopasture, streambed rehabilitation and rotational grazing. Elgaria now sells food direct to consumers in the Bay Area and hosts guests via AirBNB. As an active manager I participate in all parts of the operation but focus on paperwork and supporting the full time staff.

5/16 - 10/18 : Engineer, Tech Lead

WhatsApp, Menlo Park, CA.

Returned to WhatsApp for the chance to build a business product. Worked with senior WhatsApp and Facebook leaders across the business and engineering teams to define and build the product. Grew the eng team from just me to 10+. We created an ad-free metered-message enterprise product that preserved end-to-end encryption. Initial use cases focused on notifications and customer support. The WhatsApp Business API launched in August 2018.

4/13 - 3/15 : Engineer

Touchpoint Restaurant Innovations, Palo Alto, CA.

Various backend programming projects using Unix shell scripts, PHP and native C to help create integrated client-server POS software that has now been successfully deployed in high traffic chain restaurants. Touchpoint's uniquely robust architecture of embedded tablet terminals backed by local and cloud servers is based on the fast decentralized db stack we built with Assetbar.

10/09 - 4/13 : Engineer

WhatsApp, Mountain View, CA.

Initially wrote the BlackBerry client, WhatsApp's second platform after its iPhone flagship. Starting in 2011 wrote the WhatsApp client for Nokia Series 40 phones from the ground up, maintaining a deep relationship with Nokia and bringing other developers into the project. Wrote various other internal system support tools as WhatsApp's user base grew from 100,000 to hundreds of millions. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in February, 2014.

7/06 - 6/09 : Engineer

Assetbar, Palo Alto, CA.

Founder and lead developer. Created a SQL-free database system designed to scale and mirror across an arbitrary numbers of machines, including support for fine-grained access control lists and low-friction micropayments. Wrote and deployed integrated web app code for an RSS reader, messageboard, content management system and other uses.

4/02 - 6/06 : Writer, Card Player

Los Angeles, CA.

Wrote speculative screenplays and supported myself playing Limit Hold'em in LA-area card rooms. Filed taxes as a professional gambler.

3/00 - 3/02 : Engineer

Redline Networks, Campbell, CA.

One of three company founders. Served as lead architect and engineer for flagship web accelerator product (T|X). Also performed many IT and administrative roles as company grew from three to 30 people. Redline Networks was acquired by Juniper Networks in April, 2005.

10/98 - 2/00 : Web Developer, Engineer

Dell Computer Corporation, Round Rock, TX.

Initially responsible for organizing and maintaining Dell's factory outlet web site and automating content generation. Later served as lead developer on a comprehensive web-based internal tool for sales, web, and factory, using Java servlets and JDBC.

8/97 - 8/98 : Research Assistant

Daimler-Benz of North America, Palo Alto, CA.

Part of a team engaged in bringing various Internet technologies to the Mercedes-Benz automobile. Responsible for implementing Java-based solutions for various scenarios. Developed client and framework for speech interaction with a news retrieval server.

6/96 - 5/97 : Programmer

Portola Communications, Palo Alto, CA.

Responsible for suite of programs written in Java to test TCP-based client/server protocol. Performed various systems administration and development roles to help bring a startup's first product to market. Portola Communications was acquired by Netscape Communications in June, 1997.


My strength is creating new, long-running, resilient systems within a client/server framework. Some of the particular technologies and areas I have deep experience with are:

Angel Investments

Chimera Bioengineering, South San Francisco, CA.

New cancer therapies with improved CAR-T systems. Chimera's work continues now after its acquisition by Vaxanix, a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to revolutionizing immunotherapies.

2nd Nature Water, Santa Cruz, CA.

SaaS tools for municipalities to stop water pollution and manage water resources.

Blackbox AI Coding Assistant

AI extensions to help developers code as fast as they think.

U.S. Patents