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The WordPress theme review team (TRT) is kicking off a review weekend October 5 and will begin at 10:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). These events, called “review shindigs,” are marathon sessions where the team joins together to review themes and teach best practices. The current plan is to hold the event on the first Saturday of every month.

“The goal of the review weekend is to get together and do as many quality reviews as possible,” wrote Carolina Nymark, one of the team’s review representatives, in the event’s announcement. Events sometimes have different goals, depending on what the team needs to work on at the time.

Most of the event will happen over the team’s Slack channel. They will also hold a live presentation or Q&A on Zoom at 13:00 UTC. Anyone is welcome to attend (the Zoom link will be provided in Slack). This will help teach those who are interested in how to perform reviews and check common issues. Anyone attending is also able to submit topics for discussion in the comments on the announcement post.

The TRT originally announced plans for the event after the last team meeting, but it was overshadowed by other news, such as the team moving to a flat structure. “Not sure if anyone but myself will be there,” joked Nymark. “It’s short notice. Some of the team reps already had other plans.”

Anyone from the WordPress community is allowed to participate in the event by simply commenting on a ticket without being assigned a review. Nymark provided links on how to become a reviewer and the team’s reviewer onboarding process to get new reviewers started.

Review shindigs can help new reviewers because it puts them in touch with more experienced reviewers at a time when they know someone will be online to answer questions. They’re also a team-building exercise where people can join together and work toward a common goal.

Currently, 214 tickets are awaiting review. A successful event would significantly cut that number down.

Events From the Past

Theme review shindigs have seen varying levels of success over the years. In the TRT’s earliest days, review gatherings were regular events and helped keep the ever-growing ticket queue under control. Participation waned over time as leaders within the team switched to other projects or no longer had time to run the events. Proposals to bring back them back have not gone far in the last couple of years.

The last TRT shindig was a December 2016 event that saw over 50 participants. Reviewers worked on 108 tickets throughout the weekend. The event also coincided with contributor day at WordCamp US, which helped bump up participation numbers.

Jose Castaneda, Cristiano Zanca, Benjamin Lu, and Afzaal Ahmed held a live stream that covered how to load scripts and styles in themes in the previous review event.

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