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Engineering team meetup #2: 5 days of fun, friendship, and growth

A breakdown of the engineering problems we tackled, lessons learned, and experiences shared by HTBs engineers from our second Engineering Meetup in June!

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Jul 13


We celebrated our second Engineering Meetup at Hack The Box (HTB) from the 12th-16th of June! Our goal apart from team bonding was to enable architecture by focusing on microservices and innovate by walking our talks (yeah, we basically had a hackathon!). 

We also managed to improve our engineering skills by increasing our awareness of infrastructure, data engineering, and Devops. Last but not least, we improved our engineering skills by doing, and along the way improved our HTB Domain Knowledge and learned more about our platform's vision.  

The meetup was split into five Boosts (a boost is a set of presentations and labs): Engineering, How We Work, Innovation, Domain Knowledge, and Team Boost.

In this post, we’ll share a summary of the engineering problems we tackled and fun activities the team enjoyed throughout each Boost/day.

HTB's meetups are guaranteed to be something to remember. Our engineering meetups are no exception to this rule. It truly was a blast. Meeting all those great talents we have in the team, talking to each other, and having fun together was like a constant massage for my brain.


The excitement, the vibes, the smiling faces, the beautiful people. Thank you all for making this another great event. Till next time! 

Panagiotis Vagenas, Principal Architect at Hack The Box 


Day 1: Engineering awareness and direction 

The team gathered at our vintage offices to meet each other and listen to the experts! Our CTO, James Hooker, provided our upcoming engineering challenges and directions to take.  Gerasimos Marketos, our VP of Product, shared product vision and we talked about architecture as the core enabler that will help us accelerate our product roadmap! 

In the past year, our Engineering departments at Hack The Box have grown so much, not just in size, but in capability and focus. The annual Engineering Meetup allowed these departments to come together, make some excellent presentations, and take part in a variety of team-building exercises.


Having the entire team together in one place for a week really allowed people to work more closely together, building relationships and connections with staff they may have only ever interacted with online. Seeing the team come together, share knowledge, and collaborate in the games and hackathon was amazing to witness, and to be a part of! 

James Hooker, CTO & Co-Founder at Hack The Box 

Day 2: Impossible is nothing

We did our first hackathon. Seven teams have been working on materializing engineering ideas into something tangible to demo! We had six presentations and one winner that was voted by the teams themselves!


I left the engineering meetup feeling energized, motivated, and incredibly proud to be working with such an exceptional team. The collaborative spirit, the open exchange of feedback, and the contagious enthusiasm for our work are undoubtedly some of the things that contribute to our ongoing achievements.

Gerasimos Marketos, VP of Product at Hack The Box

Day 3: Highlights 

Each team presented technical improvements, innovations, and initiatives compared to what was done last year. We also had our Data Engineering and Devops experts demystify how things are working behind the scenes to increase collaboration between different departments.

We ended up with a great workshop that surfaced how product and engineering can collaborate better by focusing on increasing predictability.

Attending the engineering meetup organized by our company was an incredible experience! The event opened my eyes to some new super cool techniques in software development. Thanks to our company's dedication to continuous learning, I feel inspired and motivated to implement fresh strategies in my daily work! 

George Lioumpas, Software Engineer at Hack The Box 

Day 4: Learn by playing 

The fourth day was dedicated to clean coding techniques and SOLID principles, followed by a CSS battles game and a capture the flag (CTF) that included a physical Treasure Hunt event!

Our engineering meetup provided a wonderful opportunity for connecting with fellow engineers. I left the event feeling motivated and excited about the future of engineering. 

Anastasia Tsilepi, Front End Software Engineer at Hack The Box.

engineering team meetup -3

Day 5: Team Boost (and Laser Tag) 

Day five of the Team Boost was all about having fun as a team! We relaxed, played laser tag, and enjoyed a great team lunch.

There's a certain magic that can only be captured in in-person engineering meetups. These gatherings provide an invaluable opportunity for developers across different departments and products to convene. One of the key benefits of these in-person gatherings is the sharing of both best practices and common inefficiencies that we all face. In addition, these gatherings are a goldmine for relationship building. 

Dimitris Bougioukas, Senior Training Director at Hack The Box

Our second meetup event was a success, to say the least! The team made significant strides in their engineering knowledge, had fun making new friends, and aligned on the future vision for the platform and product. Here’s to the next one! 

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Testimonials from the team! 💚

The HTB Engineer Meetup 2023 was a unique week-long event filled with inspiring talks, innovative ideas, and engaging events. The meetup provided a platform for learning, collaboration, and networking, all topped off with two memorable days full of hunting and battles! Let's see what the 2024 meet-up has in store for us.

Savvas Stavrou, Software Engineer at Hack The Box 

The annual meetup was an awesome experience! The mix of presentations and collaborations during the day, followed by evenings filled with conversation and friendly banter really showed to me the incredible passion and talent within each team and it reminded me why I love to do what I do!

 Dimitris Georgiadis, DevOps Engineer at Hack The Box 

It was amazing seeing engineers of different skills including the backend guys playing css battles. We have never seen such a thing before and we have never seen a CTO winning the 2nd place while is famous for his amazing backend and security skills.

Giannis Kazakopoulos, Senior Front End Engineer & CSS battles organizer 

It was amazing seeing engineers with different expertise playing css-battles and giving their best to capture the top position. 

Stefanos Apkarian, Senior Front End Engineer and CSS battles organizer at Hack The Box  

I had the best time setting up our first Treasure Hunt for security-aware developers and it was even more exciting to watch them solve the tasks at hand using out of the box solutions and approaches! 

Tassos Ballas, Technical Leader at Hack The Box

The engineering meetup provided an opportunity to meet the people I’ve been working with and offered greater team building than the last 2 years of Slack and Google Meet. I greatly enjoyed being on the other side of a CTF.

Justin Gerhardt, Software Engineer at Hack The Box 

Being the workplace coordinator for the engineering meetup was like throwing an epic party and making sure everyone had a blast! I saw a really cool mix of people working together, sharing knowledge, and having a lot of fun! It was an absolute joy to support and witness them coming together, connecting, and creating magic in those three memorable days.

Sofia Manika, Workplace Experience Coordinator at Hack The Box

The meetup seems like an awesome tradition to me. Seeing everyone up close, discussing, sharing ideas, and working together were some of the things I found most enjoyable. The information of the presentations was in bountiful supply and the CTF was the true highlight of the event. I’m really looking forward to the next one!

Babis Chrysochoidis, Software Engineer at Hack The Box

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