Start planning for your conferences early. Some have discounted tickets available already.
The following I have attended and are all amazing and worth your time, money and effort. They offer insight on very important technologies, tons of networking opportunities and a lot of learning. Also great vendor floors where you can learn about a ton of vendors and technologies and have a lot of fun.
Philly ETE 2016 — This event in Philly is a little more low key then the others. But it's all lean solid content about really cool topics from top tech people. NOSQL, Agile, Cloud, Scala, MongoDB, Java and more. Scott Ambler will be speaking along with speakers from Comcast, MongoDB, Google and others. April 11-12.
Spark Summit East 2016 — This event is the best event for Spark and awesome for big data in general. Feb 16-18.
Scala Days East 2016 — This event is another great one focusing on Scala. When you talk Scala, lots of big data topics and real-time programming come into play. I am expecting great talks on Akka and Big Data. Scala Days, the premier Scala Conference, will be held this year at New World Stages in New York on May 9th through 11th, 2016, followed by two days of training, May 12th - 13th, 2016, at AMA Executive Conference Center. May 9-13.
Strata / Hadoop World NYC — This event is the big data event. A must attend. From Hadoop to Spark to Accumulo to Cassandra to Kafka and more. Huge event at the Javits, ton of vendors. My daughter's favorite, because she gets lots of stuffed elephants. Sept 26-29.
MongoDB World NYC — If you are involved in MongoDB or other NoSQL, this is a great event. My friends from Redis are usually there too. Great to learn about the new versions and working with MongoDB from NodeJS (MEAN), Scala, Java, Ruby, Python and more. June 28-29.
There's more, I'll post some more when I think about them. These are great ones that don't dissapoint and are well worth the money.