BLACKBELT is the combined effort of 3 web developers based out of Charlotte, NC. This blog is the bi-product of a blog originally started back in 2009 by Corey Ballou dubbed Jqueryin'. It also focused on primarily backend technologies. Today, BLACKBELT has carried the torch and vastly increased the breadth of covered technologies; backend and frontend alike.

While our backgrounds and origins in development are quite different, we all share an incredible drive to stay on top of our respective interests within the field. In a way, BLACKBELT is a new concentrated effort to supplement our many open source contributions and give back to a field that has nurtured us.

We're currently busy developing our own apps and projects at the moment, but if you are in need of consulting or have a project that you think may just interest us, by all means contact us at

Chris Gutierrez

Chris Gutierrez


After a few failed attempts at becoming a designer, Chris turned his attention to web development. Starting with PHP development in 2002, he has since made it a mission to dabble in as many areas of programming as possible. He enjoys driving (way too much) and loves to play music when he can.

Chris is the lead developer at MODE.

Corey Ballou

Corey Ballou

LAMP developer, beer lover, aspiring entrepreneur

Corey, the smart one, is an avid coder with an entrepreneurial spirit. In his spare time, he enjoys working on his open source contributions and keeping up with the latest and greatest of our industry. He enjoys spending time with his bulldog and is a surgeon at beer pong.

Corey is the senior developer of awesome at dotCO.

Dustin Horton

Dustin Horton

Designer turned developer & wanna-be designer

While finishing a BFA in Design, Dustin turned his focus to front-end development shortly before relocating to Charlotte from Rochester, NY. Recently, he's enjoyed dabbling in Knockout and some web app design. Death metal, fighting and bicycles round out his non-dev interests.

Dustin is the front-end & mobile developer, and a UX/UI designer at MODE.