I don’t disagree with your first treatment about Google’s treatment of employees. They have set the highest standard for tech industry for which all of us reaping benefits.
Now, I have never said in my post that one shouldn’t be calibrated on coding skill. But that’s not the only thing an engineer does. Most of the time for an engineer would go in communication, researching, meetings, brainstorming, trade off discussions.
Also one engineer might like back-end work, another front end/mobile tools etc. Only sticking to algorithmic doesn’t shed light of these interests.
Growing a technical skill or experience isn’t just about coding madly on a white board. That skill is what you learn in college but in real life you code to solve a business problem.
A techically passionate person doesn’t need you to tell them to learn new skills. Learning a new skill and being adaptive to industry is not easy. You have to show interest, be proactive and grow that skill be it be testing, iOS/Android, data science, AI etc. Those line of inquiry is completely take out of picture.