I recently joined a software development firm in China - they are small-to-mid-sized of around 20-30 developers, mostly Chinese, and with 5 - 6 "foreign" software developers that are of the most technically apt. I was hired from my school's co-op program, and this will be my third and final co-op, having done one co-op at a web development firm (having not learned much), and my second co-op at a research and development firm primarily using C#.
I decided to come to China because this is the country where I was born. The prospect of working here enticed me since:
It would be a major challenge for me, having grown up in the West (though I can speak and read Chinese perfectly fine).
I wanted to experience the country I was born in on a technical level.
I was hired to the company expecting to be working on their Android team since the majority of my professional experience has been in Java/Android and C# (though their job description was much more general, encompassing web development languages to Objective-C/Java).
I was pulled into the web development team on day one since this particular project was meeting a deadline, and there were still many things that needed to be done. This knowledge definitely stressed me out a little, since the nature of being pulled into a due-project means you're expected to deliver. I said, "alright, let's face this with a good attitude."
Immediately, I had issues with the first project I was given. PHP. I had very little prior experience with this language. My technical project manager was understanding of this, and understood that while he would be quite busy throughout the day (he handles a lot of the technical things of the project), he could still meet with me every day at the end of the day (around 6:30 PM in Chinese office standards) to answer any questions I would have. I got better. I started delivering. I had questions, and I started asking.
But it seems like for the tasks I've been given, and with the team scrambling to catch a deadline, I feel exhausted. I know as an intern/co-op, we are expected to not know much, and for precisely that reason, I decided that I will face learning web development languages with a good attitude since I wanted to challenge myself and learn more. However, with the fact that I was pulled into the project while it was facing a deadline, I find my capacity to learn greatly stifled. Knowing my lack of experience in web technologies, I don't think I am handling the stress well (feel free to say.. "boohoo. What kind of stress do you have?" I understand that).
My questions is - what should I do? I want to learn and I want to be challenged, and I truly believe I have the capacity to do so, but with the stress of the entire team working hard to meet a deadline, and personally also having deadlines, I find myself unable to perform at what I expect of myself.