if you want to develop software, you can build for the Web and/or Unix and/or OSS platforms; or alternatively, you can be a sharecropper. - The Web's the Place
Sharecroppers performed backbreaking physical labor for almost no money, and existed in an environment where a bad harvest or a duplicitous landowner could spell the difference between a survivable (but meager) winter and near-starvation.
Software engineers work in air conditioned offices, usually for at least decent pay, and have freedom of movement, self-determination, and the opportunity for professional advancement.
My aunt tells a great story of the night her grandmother (my great-grandmother) and her family headed north out of Mississippi ahead of a lynch mob, having completely torched a crop of cotton in the fields because the landowner tried to cheat them out of the proceeds they'd earned that year. She'd have kicked your pansy coding ass. Mine too.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he’ll invite himself over for dinner.
- Calvin Keegan