Did she ask for a non-terrible laptop? Was she rejected? The article doesn't mention this.
Did she _ask_ for a desk? If they're onboarding many people at once, there's always a chance something can get missed.
I think a lack of communication was the main problem here.
Regardless, if there's a problem, it's the company's fault. If you don't try to fix the problem, it's your fault. It may or may not have been her fault that she wasn't assigned a desk on day 1. But it was definitely her fault that she didn't have a desk on day 3.
IMHO navigating bureaucracies and getting institutional stuff like this fixed is a really important skill that software developers tend to be awful at. My first "job" out of high school was in the air force- so navigating institutional garbage and persuading ineffectual people to do their damn job is something I'm pretty good at. But now I look around at frustrated young devs who don't know how to navigate the bullshit, and it drives them bananas. This article is a prime example. There are basically three kinds of problems:
1. Problems you fix yourself.
2. Problems other people fix, but only once you complain (loudly enough) about them.
3. Problems that are never gonna get fixed, no matter what.
Developers tend to be really good at the first kind, absolutely terrible at the second, and fixate (to their detriment) on the third. If you can't fix it, don't stress about it. And don't stew about something you can fix with an email.
So from that point of view not having a desk for first few days I'd feel lost and like a visitor, not employee.
I have no experience working for tech giants and large shops (100+ people per location), so I may be blind to usual practices.
This whole company sounds like a sitcom.
If the author decided unilaterally to skip the onboarding process and appear unexpectedly and unannounced at somewhere she assumed would be her workspace then she wasn't there when she was supposed to start.
Would it also make any sense if the author whined about the company not providing her with a computer if she happened to also skip that part of the onboarding process?