The demand for expertise in open-source programming has come up fairly frequenly in recent months (here's an example). And the channel seems to be taking notice, as an announcement Tuesday by Pantheon of a partner program for connecting developers with expertise in Drupal, the open-source content management system (CMS), with organizations building enterprise-quality websites.

Drupal, which is now more than a decade old, is a key open-source technology behind the modern Web. Alongside alternative open-source CMS engines, like WordPress, Drupal makes it easier to build complex websites. It's the system behind some of the most popular sites out there, from McDonald's to the Linux Foundation to -- last but not least -- Britney Spears's homepage.

Yet as helpful as Drupal may be in simplifying the deployment of websites, the platform can still require some expertise to configure and maintain effectively for complex scenarios. That need is behind the recently announced Pantheon partner program, which centers around an online directory to help Drupal developers and those in need of Drupal talent to connect with one another.

As of the time of launch, the program includes twenty big-name digital content providers on the lookout for Drupal talent. Meanwhile, according to a statement from Pantheon, the directory has already helped to assemble expertise behind the revamping of websites as significant as The New Republic's, which contracted with Alley Interactive, a Pantheon partner, for an online rebranding earlier this year.

Personally -- and at the risk of angering The VAR Guy, who also runs his website on Drupal -- I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the platform. (How I miss WordPress...) Still, as an open-source CMS, Drupal is hugely important across the Web. And as the focus of programmers with expertise in open-source Internet technology, it is driving some important collaboration across the channel as well.