Trying to keep the overall question + answers applicable to anyone in Software, but advice RE my specific points at the bottom would be amazing!
A little backstory
I left college in July at 18, and got a job as a web developer full time 2 months later instead of going to University like most 18 year olds do in England, and am studying Computing & IT with Business (BSc) at the Open University part time.
I managed to land this job because I've been working on a family friend's Rails startup idea for 2 years part time around school, despite not having a degree to go into a graduate role.
While my parents employers (NHS and YAS) provide official CPD, I haven't heard anything about this in my field of work.
To the point
Do people in software often get the opportunity to take courses, CPD etc., funded by the employer?
What sort of courses and training are available that are even relevant to the field?
Would a small startup (10-15 employees) even consider providing CPD + training to their developers?