I was fortunate enough to be invited on to Episode 26 of the Linux Unplugged podcast to talk a little about MATE Desktop and where it is headed. The MATE Mythbusting clip is embedded below.
I wasn’t able to cover all the development objectives of MATE 1.8 in the time available so I recommend you take a look at the MATE Roadmap for a complete overview. If you should have any additional questions, or would like to contribute to the the project, then we look for to chatting with you in the #mate IRC channel or reviewing your pull-requests on GitHub.
Jupiter Broadcasting produce a number of weekly videocasts and podcasts mostly oriented around FLOSS. Take a look, you may find something that interests you.