I joined Google straight from college 6 years ago as a SWE, and by now I'm used to the style of work of "do the minimal work possible to do the job", I never challenge myself to deeply learn about what I'm doing, it's almost like I've been using only 10% of my mental capacity for work (the rest was on dating/dealing with breakups/dealing with depression/gaming/...).
Even when I get a meaningful project, all I do is copy code from the internal codebase and patch things together until they work. I was promoted only once.
Now that I'm thinking of jumping ship to other interesting companies, I'm having serious doubts that I really learned what I should have learned during all those years. Especially since I'm considering companies with a higher hiring bar than Google.
How can I keep myself accountable while I'm still at the company to deeply learn the FE/BE technologies to be better prepared for other companies? Should I start by preparing a checklist of technologies and dive into each of them for a month and continue from there?
In the few years since I left; I worked as a solutions architect managing a team, a team lead, a remote dev, and now in a startup. Front-end, back-end, flip-side, all the ends. So I've been deliberately trying different angles of my career to see what suits.
I'd describe this process as grueling, ("challenging" is too friendly). I honestly think I would have been happier staying at Google, farting around, and being social. I agree with a lot of the comments here. However it's a catch-22, because the me that exists now wouldn't choose to go back and overall I think this has been good for me – and not just because of the, er, _character building_ aspect of it.
If you stay at Google, make the most of it by progressing deliberately in your social life. If I'd've stayed, I could have comfortably raised some kids with my wife by now - but that's still on the todo list.
If you leave, just jump right in. I didn't study anything, I just picked it up as I went along. If you were able to follow Steve Yegge's advice and Get That Job At Google, then I'm sure you're a smart cookie and can fake it til you make it.
Basically I'm saying you can be happy either way. If you leave, know what you're getting yourself into. If you stay, don't waste this time but use it on yourself.