Being a rather obsessively compulsive person, in my home projects, I much prefer socketing ICs than soldering them directly to the board. It's simple. If you solder them so the solder appears to flow smoothly, then you have to obsess about whether the insides got too hot.
This subject reminds me that some time ago now, my boss at the time had a similar sentiment to this soldering thread: "I think every engineer should know how to weld." Whaaaa??
But I did like this part: "Also, since he says such nice things about me and my writings, I think it's fair to assume that he is a very clever and discerning person."
I get the sentiment, a highly trained technician should be able to carry out one of the most basic tasks to their profession.
I am curious though, at what point we can stop wasting time teaching every single basic step to someone who may never ever need that again. I'm sure there are engineers out there who can tell me the flow properties of hot solder at a nanometer scale and how they intend to work with that in their board design... but also have not ever had to hand solder a resistor. I personally can play an instrument and even change its strings, but I'm no luthier.