Syde CTO Frank Bültge

Frank Bültge rides on his bike into the sunset
At Syde, we have employees from all countries, cultures and life situations with personal stories and wishes. That shapes me a lot.

In this post, we want to introduce Frank Bültge Frank is co-founder and CTO of Syde GmbH. He tells us what is important to him in life and how he came to Syde.

This is Frank Bültge

Frank is 46 years old and lives in Stadtroda near Jena, Germany.

Frank Bültge climbing and cycling

How can you be described?

I am reliable and optimistic. Especially important to me are honesty, tolerance and reliability. I am always looking for variety in sports, in everyday life and at work. The main thing for me is that I can take pleasure in what I do and get something out of it. That is why work is a very important part of my life. I work because it is important to me, not because I have to. Work is for me a wonderful confirmation of my existence, that I am needed, that other people need my knowledge, my doing. I like to spend time with many different things. And I am good at many things, but not a perfectionist. If I am too good at something, it often gets boring for me and I look for new challenges. 

How do you spend your free time?

At home as a father and doing crafts. I like to work with my hands and I work a lot with wood, but I also design and build my own bicycles or work on our house or garden.  When you do something with your hands, you see the result quite quickly, as well as the mistakes and problems. I like that a lot. For relaxation, I like to watch movies. But which ones exactly is difficult to say. It must simply touch me.

I am also an enthusiastic sportsman. I run, cycle and I am an alpinist. Alpinists are people who mainly climb in the mountains away from human civilization. I practice every form of mountaineering ‒ primarily in ice and snow. This is also the great value I see in mountaineering. I want to have that “outside feeling”, as isolated as possible. It is the same with all the other sports I practice. 

For me, sport is a great compensation. In everyday life with family and work, most of the goals you get or set yourself are dependent on other people. When cycling or mountaineering, I am solely responsible for achieving my goal. I really appreciate this contrast. For this reason, challenges in cycling have been especially appealing to me in recent years. Only myself, my body and mind, are responsible for the success and the sustainability of my doing.

Once a year I also organize a kind of cycling race called “Thüringen erfahren“, mostly over about 500 km. But there are no first, second or third place and no prizes. The only goal is to arrive at the finish line, absolutely without any help from others ‒ including repairs if necessary. Otherwise, there are not many rules. I want to offer a challenge to people who like to cycle long distances. On such trips, I only stop for eating and shopping for food and usually ride through the night. I like the variety of this challenge. No restrictions, the goal is what you make of it.

I have always been looking for challenges. That’s how I got into mountaineering. When I lived in Eisenach, I often made trips with a group of friends and our holidays were and are always connected with mountaineering or climbing, for example in Asia. But since I moved to Jena, I lost a little bit of contact to other mountaineers and so I shifted my sportive focus to cycling.

Frank’s way to Syde

I come from the craft sector, or more precisely: I did an apprenticeship as an energy electronics technician. This is, so to speak, a mixture of an electrician and an electronics engineer. Sometimes, I miss working as a craftsman. But the pay and working conditions were sometimes bad and I don’t miss that. That is why it has become one of my hobbies. And especially in the cycling context, it is very handy to be able to repair something on the road. 

As a craftsman, I met people in mountaineering by chance through my work and quickly became an active mountaineer. I became part of the KVFL: “Kletterverein Fröhlich und Lustig” (translated: climbing club cheerful and funny). We were traveling a lot to climb new mountains and walls and at some point, the desire arose to share our experiences with others. As I was known for my knowledge of technology, I was given the task to create a blog where we could share our travel reports and mountain experiences. That’s how I got into web programming. By the way: the blog still exists today:

In search of new challenges in my life, I decided to catch up on my high school diploma. I decided to take a technical high school diploma and it went so well that I wanted to study. So, the choice fell on precision engineering, a study with a strong focus on construction and development. In order to finance my studies, I worked at Carl Zeiss AG ‒ where I still work today, now in an executive position ‒  and as a web developer for small customers on the side. 

That’s how I joined the German WordPress community, where also Olaf Schmitz (co-founder of Syde), Heinz Rohé (co-founder and now CFO) and Robert Windisch (co-founder and now CIO) were active. My orders grew fast and soon I couldn’t do it alone anymore. Olaf and Robert offered me to join Syde. Together with Olaf, Heinz, Robert and a few others, we founded the Syde GmbH out of the Syde GbR at the end of 2008. My main task at the beginning was to get new clients, which was easy for me because I already got many offers anyway. In 2007, I published my first WordPress book, which resulted in even more orders. But actually, I was never really a code developer, I mainly developed architectures and solutions. 

I really appreciate the work at Syde because this way I can give people a home and the chance to do what they enjoy ‒ all in the context of WordPress and Open Source, where you can and should shape so much. Especially valuable for me is the variety of this work. It just never gets boring and there are always new challenges for me!

How do you shape Syde and vice versa?

I hope that above all I make a big impression on democracy here. I want everyone to help shape the company and to see that they can. There should only be hierarchical decisions at the end of a democratic discussion. Everyone should participate and support decisions.

Syde has shaped me above all in the context of tolerance. It is very important to me to be tolerant and not prejudiced and to reach out to other people open-minded. But that is not always easy. Through Syde I have grown a lot. We have employees from all countries, cultures and life situations with personal stories and wishes. That shapes me a lot. 

Questions to Syder Frank

We asked Frank a few personal questions to get to know him better:

Who was your hero as a child?

Reinhold Messner, focussed and convincing.

Which job did you do when you were in school?

I worked in a dairy’s cold storage.

What is your midnight snack?

Hearty or fresh.

What should be written on your gravestone?

There shouldn’t be one.

What is the best present you ever got?

My kids.

Describe your ideal weekend.

Nice weather, being outdoors, doing things.

What is on your bucket list?

I live more from todo to todo. I have a few things on my bucket list, like the Transcontinental, a bike race across Europe. But I don’t fixate on that, I live for the day. My only real wish for the future is to put all my compulsory work on the side. I would like to do something that is needed, helping people with my work. Just to help, not for the money.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Goldsmith. Today I prefer organization, giving ideas ‒ being an entrepreneur.

What is the best and worst part of your personality?

I try to be a role model, because I think this is the best way to educate my children, for example, or to lead my employees at work. But that is a big challenge and I sometimes fail to meet it. And I am loving, which is mostly positive, because love is a great feeling, but it can also limit, because it also creates dependencies.

What have you been in your previous life?

I was me.

What do you like most about your city?

All that green.

If you could travel through time, which time would you visit first?

The past.

What are you really good at?


About what would your friends say “that’s typical you”?


Are you sentimental about some of the things you have?

Yes, especially if I made them myself.

If someone gave you an envelope with the date of your death, would you open it?


If the world ended tomorrow, what would you do on your last day?

Fight it.

Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man?


By the way: The Syde Team is 100% remote

This enables us to bring together the best minds in the world in one team. You want to learn more about our way of working and the Syders? Take a look inside Syde!