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.