I consider myself a Software Craftsman. I like to attend local user groups and events to learn about new technologies as well as network with other software craftsman. We love to talk about what we're doing, what we're learning, and in general how to get better at the things we like. Some of these meetups and events are free, others are not and sometimes take place during working hours (9am - 5pm).
My work generally did not allow me to attend events during office hours unless it directly had something to do with what we were currently implementing/using. Nor did they provide any support to any software resources/plugins that could help boost productivity. For the most part, I've been in charge of educating myself and actually purchasing my own software tools (example: Resharper).
My question is: How involved should our employers be in providing software developers with tools, resources, and general education on up and coming technologies?
Should they provide MSDN subscriptions for their developers to install software at home? Should they pay for conference fees to learn about new technologies?