I’m in my mid 50s. The only time I got on a decent training course that helped develop my career was when I ran it myself.

image: not actually tea

You can’t presume bosses will put your interests before their employers’. I’m still working in the industry because, like most people in my position, I’ve made the effort to keep my skillset contemporary. That nice Mr. Gates stills pays my wages, indirectly, so I get MSDN subscriptions with permanent licences, and have done on and off for 20 years. I do something similar with Apple kit.

Because my goal is self–education, not performance, I buy quiet, small hardware, that doesn’t irritate and doesn’t get in the way. My current servers are Soekris boxes for BSD servers, & Mac Minis, with maxed out specs, with virtual Windows and Linux servers.

Postscript from 2015: my current employers are putting me on a number of courses. I thank them.