The WordPress.org Theme Review Team put out a call for mentors this week. The team will be launching a mentoring program that will pair new reviewers with those who have experience.
“We are looking for currently active reviewers who want to give back to the community, of course, and to teach the next generation of theme reviewers,” Jose Castaneda said in the announcement. The mentoring program was proposed by TRT admin Tammie Lister as a sort of “buddy system” to help onboard new reviewers.
Currently, WordPress.org offers 2,677 themes in its directory. As the number of themes continues to grow, so does the work load for approving new submissions as well as new theme version updates. Theme Review Team members are in short supply, and this program aims to get new members up to speed as fast as possible.
The response so far has been tremendous, with many team members already stepping up to the plate to volunteer as mentors. New reviewers will be paired up with mentors when they receive their first tickets. “We will be assigning from the theme request list each month,” Lister told the Tavern.
This is good news for WordPress.org theme developers who have been frustrated by the amount of time it takes to get theme and updates approved. At times it can take weeks for a new theme to get pushed out to the directory.
Lister believes the mentoring program will help to improve the efficiency of reviewers working through the queue. “Anything that helps train will have a positive impact on the queue,” she said. “Every little improvement helps, but we also need more people reviewing – more hands to make light of the queue.”
The introduction of Key Reviewers will also help to speed things along. This is a new role within the Theme Review Team with the power to push their own theme reviews live, as well as those being reviewed by other team members. This results in more people available who can make themes live on WordPress.org.
Experienced theme reviewers who want to join are encouraged to comment on the announcement post with their WordPress.org usernames to be added to the list of available mentors.