The first day of work is often filled with administrative tasks, or tasks that are otherwise ancillary to actual development work. This can include necessities, such as filling out tax forms and “here’s the bathroom, here’s the coffee machine”, but it can also include, and this is a technical term, bullshit. Here are some examples of the latter category:
I once had a job where, after my general HR introduction, I was taken to my office and given a box with a computer in it, and instructions for installing the OS.
At that same job, after I set up my user account, I was asked to wait for a number of days (days!) before I could use all the different systems – such as the wireless network for my laptop.
At another job, I was asked to attend, as part of orientation, a week’s worth of lectures about the company’s history and culture.
None of these things are worth my time. Any decent-sized company has an IT department, even if that’s just one person, and they’re much more efficient at setting up PCs than I could ever be. Given that a user’s employment is generally known well in advance of the start date, user accounts can be set up (sans password) the week before and allowed to “propagate” (whatever that means). As for the company history lecture, well, at some point “culture” turns into just “cult”.
By all means, take the first hour or two of the first day to show me around the office. Then let me start learning important stuff, such as how to build the product that I’m going to be working on for the rest of my time there.