I am having a hard time getting find to look for matches in the current directory as well as its subdirectories.
When I run
find . -name *test.c
find: paths must precede expression: mytest.c
Try putting it in quotes -- you're running into the shell's wildcard expansion, so what you're acually passing to find will look like:
find . -name bobtest.c cattest.c snowtest.c
...causing the syntax error. So try this instead:
find . -name '*test.c'
Note the single quotes around your file expression -- these will stop the shell (bash) expanding your wildcards.