The plan:

July 27, 2013 WordPress 3.8 announced as in development concurrently with WordPress 3.7
July 28, 2013 Kick-off at WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. San Francisco Hack Day.
August 7, 2013 Initial meeting to scope out the release. See here and here.
August 15, 2013 Feature Plugins kick off. See here and here.
November 4, 2013 Merge window opens.
November 13, 2013 Merge window closes.
November 20, 2013 BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1.
From this point on, no more commits for any new enhancements or feature requests in this release cycle, only bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. fixes and inline documentation. Any enhancements/feature requests not completed and committed by this point can be resumed in just a few weeks at the start of WordPress 3.9.
November 27, 2013 Beta 2.
December 4, 2013 RC1.
December 5, 2013
December 9, 2013
Hard freeze; RC2.
December 12, 2013 Release of WordPress 3.8.

To get involved in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. development, head on over to TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. and pick a 3.8 ticket. Need help? Check out the Core Contributor Handbook.

Get your patches done and submitted as soon as possible, then drum up people to test the patches and leave feedback on the ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker.. As stated above, no patches for enhancements or feature requests will be committed after the posted deadlines, so that we can all focus on squashing bugs and hopefully deliver the most bug-free WordPress to date. Wish us luck!