HTB Insider

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Metalheads off-site adventure: Crafting unity and innovation in the enclave of Trikala Korinthias

Dive into the narrative of how Metalheads forge deeper bonds and solid foundations to enhance the functionality you experience as a player, customer, or avid user of Hack The Box.

t3rraarc avatar

Mar 21

Who are Metalheads?

Metalheads is the full-stack team responsible for the development and releases of Hack The Box’s (HTB) Enterprise platform. This team, a blend of engineers, quality assurance specialists, product managers, and designers, is the heartbeat of the expansive Enterprise platform. We’re one of the bigger teams in Hack The Box, but that size is necessary to help us cover the vast spectrum of the platform.

The Enterprise platform is a central place for organizations and companies to build their continuous upskilling journey in cybersecurity and to acquire new talent through Talent Search. From centralized user management to a rich repository of content and talent search capabilities, it's a powerhouse of cyber preparedness and expertise scouting. To learn more check here.

In 2023 the Metalheads team alongside our awesome HTB Content team expanded the offerings of the platform by making available features like:

  • Sherlocks: introducing defensive content to all of HTB’s audience and customers.

  • Guided mode for machines: offering a smoother way to pwn some of the Machines available in the platform, focusing on the easiest.

  • Restore points for Professional Lab scenarios: ensuring better progression saving when playing the realistic network scenarios offered in Professional Labs.

  • Account Leaderboard: where all the users in the platform can see their ranking.

  • Curated paths for Dedicated Labs: where administrators can pick collections of Machines, Sherlocks, and Challenges that fit their teams’ learning path.

  • MITRE ATT&CK reporting for Academy progress: checking teams’ status against MITRE framework.

  • An enhanced content categorization: offering a better way to support and monitor teams’ upskilling journey.

  • And many many more, check here

Why an off-site?

Metalheads are a remote team, distributed across Greece. Despite the distance that separates us we always take steps to improve our collaboration and effectiveness as a team, and that’s where an in-person event comes in!

These on-site events are an opportunity to meet, collaborate, celebrate our wins, and talk about areas we can improve as a team. So far, we have already met each other twice in 2023 (once at HTB’s Athens office and once more during the epic, company-wide global retreat, where we gathered for awesome discussions and a codeathon event which resulted in the Global Leaderboard feature🙂).

With our off-site event at Trikala Korinthias in Greece (a mountainous village standing at 1000m altitude),  we wanted to focus on interacting with each other throughout the day. Spending a full day with the team yields a lot of opportunities for communication and alignment without having to worry about other stuff.

Metalheads off site adventure 3

Off-site schedule

Supporting the Enterprise platform is our top priority, which is why we aimed to maintain our schedule without fully logging off. So, the majority of our off-site schedule was “business as usual during working hours” to support the upcoming releases and development needed for the platform. This meant that for two out of the three days of the event, we secured at least six hours of work as usual.

Aside from “business as usual", we arranged dinner and lunch breakout sessions as a whole team or in smaller groups where we talked about anything and everything. From work-related topics like how the team works, ways to improve our collaboration and interactions with other teams, and areas we need to improve on—to the exciting stuff: video games, favorite animes, and of course, the best heavy metal bands' concerts🤘! 

Metalheads off site adventure 2

On the second day, we scheduled a short hiking activity for some team members to enjoy the incredible vista of the Ziria mountains. The rest of the team was gathered in the small ski resort of Ziria for relaxation and discussion. Later on, we all met at the ski resort to discuss HTB company goals for 2024 and how those objectives translate to Metalheads’ focus and challenges 🤘!

During our session, we re-approved the impact and importance of the Enterprise platform for Hack The Box and pledged our focus towards building the best we can for our customers and players in the platform.

On the last day of our off-site event, we discussed ways to be more efficient in our work. This is imperative for a team that wants to keep on improving their game. Some of the ideas we brought to the table had to do with leveraging more AI for internal processes during development, QA, and product management so that we optimize our brain-power to focus on the important stuff. 


The single most important takeaway from our event was around stronger connections between Metalheads, better alignment, honesty, and respect among peers. This is the base for a strong team and meaningful collaboration. Having a strong base as a team helps to auto-calibrate any mishaps experienced along the way, and build a solid foundation for Metalheads.

I really enjoyed this trip! Being a new member of Metalheads, this excursion allowed me to get to know my teammates better, engage in relaxed conversations, and exchange ideas in an inspiring environment in nature! Many thanks to HTB and our PM Mike Giannakopoulos aka “t3rraarc” for conceiving, organizing, and handling this wonderful event.

Eirini Athanasiou (Pumuckl), QA Analyst at Hack The Box

Another key aspect of this event was the common understanding and alignment over all the challenges and opportunities that 2024 is bringing to Hack The Box and to the Enterprise platform in particular. The full Metalheads team knows what’s coming, why, and what’s important for Hack The Box in 2024. We moved further by translating the overarching goals of the company into tangible Metalheads tasks and processes to help us deliver on the targets set.

Last but not least, we renewed the awesomeness and connections of our team 🙂! We had lots of fun during the event and built some team memories to carry (and playfully shame each other) in our remote calls and discussions. 

The off-site Metalheads event was a thrilling blend of focused work and team bonding, demonstrating our commitment to the Enterprise platform while leveraging our collective intelligence. It is always inspiring to engage closely with such a talented group, sharing goals and elevating each other's capabilities, which made me truly excited to be part of this dynamic team.

Thanos Stantzouris (d3adr1nger), Software Engineer at Hack The Box

We end this event with a promise to meet again as Metalheads. 


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