When I’m asked to describe sysadmins, I often describe them as people who are very good at solving problems. I still think that this is true. Now I think it’s the side effect of something more central.
Sysadmins are tinkerers. They might be buttoned-up tinkerers who always have a backup of whatever it is that they’re working on so that they can revert to a known good state. They might be inveterate tinkerers who will have an idea and just try it out, and rely on their tinkering skills to be able to get themselves out of a jam. In either case, they’re tinkering to get it to work better. “Better” can mean anything from using less power to integrating with another application to giving more meaningful alarms.