Josh Pollock gives some advice for aspiring plugin developers on WP Kube. He says a lot of good things. I liked this part the best:
Writing a maintainable plugin, and maintaining it is not easy. Start where the stakes are lower and get used to it, while upping your game as a plugin developer. I can’t stress how important this is to preparing you for creating commercial plugins. It also helps boost your credibility, both when you do start selling plugins and when you start contributing to large open-source plugin products.
And yes, you need to contribute to a large open-source plugin. It’s the best way to not only improve your resume, but also work side by side with people who are better and more experienced than you — an excellent way to learn. Also, managing a large development project is not easy and the best way to learn is to help others do it and observe their process.
Closely followed by his advice on marketing, noting it can often depend on relationships that take months or even years of nurturing:
As much as it may be hard to swallow for a developer, your awesome code is a minor piece of the puzzle. Launching a product without building and constantly nurturing a platform will always lead to failure guarantee. You need to think about how you are going to reach key influencers and early adopters before you even get to a working beta, so once you do, you can share it with them. That involves nurturing relationships by helping others for months and years before you ever call in the favor.
Once you’re ready to start promoting the launch of your product to a general audience, you need a plan. The market for WordPress products and services is huge, which is awesome, but is also a challenge. You need to figure out which tiny segment of that huge market you can reach and how to reach them.
You can read it all on WP Kube, which recently got a nice redesign as well.