Willow starts out as a meek, shy nerd who wasn’t comfortable in her own skin. As she becomes best friends with a vampire slayer, she starts to feel inadequate and tries to help out in the best way she knows how: with her intelligence. In an age when computers and the internet were just gaining popularity, the show tried to show how “hip” it was by having Willow be a computer hacker even if it was mainly used as a way to get information across.
During the “monster-of-the-week” episode “I Robot, You Jane” we get a blast from the Internet past when the plot of the episode was the early days of chat rooms. Willow starts talking to what she thinks is a boy on the Internet. Turns out, it was actually a demon. In what was one of the shows weaker more outdated episodes, this episode gives us the introduction of a new character and woman in STEM, Sunnydale High’s computer programming teacher: Jenny Calendar. Techno-pagan Jenny Calendar is the school’s only computer teacher, and is also a woman.
In season two when the students of Sunnydale High all had to take career aptitude tests, Willow didn’t get a result. She was worried until her and another student, Oz (who she later dated), were called to a secret meeting, where it was revealed that neither one of them got results because they were being recruited for a software company. Though they never went anywhere with that storyline, seeming to forget it once the episode was over, it was still cool to see Willow be acknowledged for her computer skills. Jenny always encouraged Willow’s computer skills and saw Willow as smart and talented enough to sub for her class from time to time. After Jenny was murdered, Willow takes over teaching her classes, despite only being a teenager herself.
In addition to cultivating her interest in computer programming, Jenny also inspired Willow to study magicks and become a witch. After Jenny is killed and cannot perform the spell to give Angelus (the bad guy of the season) his soul back Willow takes on the challenge and proves she has the skills to be a techno-pagan like Jenny. However, with Willow finding more and more power within herself over the years, the show also seems to forget about her “geek-infested-roots”. As soon as she started becoming a witch on the show at the end of season two, they seemed to forget that she has computer programming and hacking skills and would only remember them when it was convenient to the plot.