I know this may be a bit random, but a certain switch manaufacturer distributes their software in a containerised format so that you can run it on your laptop, and this has been really helpful for doing tests for API scripting. I can check calls and responses, and make sure I get a pretty good idea things are working as they should be before I go too mad with automation in prod.
Container would be great, a VM probably just as good, vagrant maybe? Anything available anyone is aware of? I am only really after the management instance. Ideally I'd like to be able to code on the train etc. I know this sounds a but nerdy but my most productive time is when I am not in the office.