By Elvia Ortiz
Curious Amarillo College students walking around the second floor of the Byrd Business Building might notice two QR codes outside a classroom. If one of those curious students scanned in, they’d find themselves in AC’s “Think Tank.”
Looking around the room, there are tables with TVs on top of them and the words “Think Tank” are written on the wall, the letter “N” appearing a bit crooked. In the far-right corner of the room, there’s a fish tank. However, the tank far from normal, it’s filled with mineral water and is surrounded by software that allows the tank to function as a computer.
Other than the fish tank computer, there’s also a display case of trophies. The trophies belong to Bash Script Crazy, a club that, according to their website, “is home to geeks, nerds, cylon and computer enthusiasts with a passion for games and voiding warranties.”
The club focuses on “promoting the use of technology with education, creative use, and high ethical standards. To develop and improve the necessary computer technical skills of every member, and provide an environment in which otherwise solitary learners can come together in groups to earn experience in their field of study,” according to their website.
Computer Information Science (CIS) Instructor and Bash Script Crazy Co-Sponsor, Christopher George, said AC students helped come up with the club’s name in 2016.
“Bash is a basic programming language used in scripting and automation in a Linux or Unix environment, which are operating system like Windows or once, again, Linux or Unix,” George said. “So, bash scripting is a way to write a script that will do something for you. It automates, so we don’t have to manually do it all the time, the crazy of course plays off the other terms for crazy.’’
George said Bash Script Crazy started after the Dean of STEM asked for a club that engages with students who major in computer engineering, CIS and programming cybersecurity.
“We wanted to go past computers and say all technology. I had already written a proposal for my bachelor’s degree, just as a writing prompt for a class when I thought, ‘hey this is why it would be cool to have a club,’’ George said.
Bash Script Crazy members compete in regionals and nationals that test individual and teamwork skills, such as PC troubleshooting, database and cybersecurity network development.
At the end of March, Bash Script Crazy is taking a group of students to Plano, Texas to compete at the national-level. “What we teach in class is real world, not just theoretical. We are teaching actual skills to get ready to go to a job in that field,” George said.
Club members have a chance to attend career fairs at competitions where sponsoring companies are available to interview students or review their resumes and offer feedback.
“Being in this club is a good opportunity because you can see firsthand what’s necessary or required to really accomplish your goals,” Samuel Guajardo, a computer networking and security major, said. “It allows you to expand your knowledge and be curious as to how a simple code can fix the entire issue to how old tech worked back in the day.’’
Computer Science major, Preston Sengkounmany said the experience is worth it. “You get to bond with other people who enjoy what you do. It can also help you with jobs if you compete at nationals,” Sengkounmany said.
The former President of Bash Script Crazy now works in Houston after receiving a job directly from competing at nationals. “It’s good for students to get face-to-face with these companies because submitting your resume online, it’s difficult to make a connection,’’ George said.
Club members not only go to competitions, they’re also involved with Student Life at AC, whether working with AI, creating games or participating in the hot wing eating contest during Halloween.
For more information about BSC, visit the Think Tank in Byrd Business Building, Room 215, or check out Bash Script Crazy on the AC website.