I am going to write a series of posts disclosing essential problems of the main site, which makes it a source of bad practices and wrong solutions.
Stack Overflow Is Not A Forum.
This is the worst one. Although some take pride in it, it's actually a shame.
Every forum eventually develops some sort of a knowledge base where all newcomers with repeated questions to be sent. The great thing with such a knowledge base is that its entries are subjects of constant development and improvement. You know, it's some sort of normalization - instead of having a-thousand-and-growing quick-n-dirty answers from passers-by there is a single one, written and polished by professionals. (A small but indicative detail: on SO, if you have your answer in constant development and improvement, it will be taken from you).
But Stack Overflow is not a forum. It is more like an anonymous imageboard to its participants - they scarcely know each other; they have no idea on the background, on the history, on the other questions or answers. Their only intention is to give a quick answer in pursuit of a few reputation points. This makes answers quality below any acceptable level. Yes, sometimes some professional feels like writing a detailed answer, or an experienced developer smells the real question under the phrased one and answers properly. But the worst thing with professional developers is that they don't have too much spare time to hang out on imageboards. They have work to do. But all the newcomers, who don't care to search even a little - they won't wait! Yet there are always some enthusiasts hanging around, eager to answer. So, we have Stack Overflow bloated with thousands of repeated questions with bad answers.
As a programmer, I find this approach extremely inefficient. Having the same answer scattered in thousands of posts makes it hell to maintain. So - all the wrong and outdated answers remains in place.
Okay, a few people who care are trying to create some sort of "reference questions". Even if they succeed against strong community reluctance ("this doesn't fit for SO!") - they'll find all their effort in vain. It's imageboard, Luke! Nobody ever cares about such questions' existence. Or - even if someone is aware of the already existing answer - they have a choice: to answer and get some points, or to vote for closure and get nothing. What would you choose, %username%?
Yes, I know, it's the perfect forum I have pictured above. In reality newcomers are often sent into a FAQ section inappropriately - that's why forums are despised. Okay, this thing about forums is an extreme. But Stack Overflow is just an opposite extreme! which is no better.
Although I do understand the intention - "a quick answer without questions", I also understand that knowledge that cost you no effort will do no good either. I only pray that physicians have no such a site where one can ask "how to perform an appendectomy". And get an answer.
Something has to be done about it. No, the status quo is no good. Because
The Rules That Never Work.
A distinct thing is Stack Overflow's set of rules. Every time you raise a problem on Meta, they always have a solution for you. Say, "there is a bad question" - "vote to close it". Nobody cares if it never takes a proper number of votes. Nobody cares if it already has an answer (so - there is no point in closing it at all). Nobody cares at all.
This problem is somewhat similar to one on the main site: Nobody cares about solving a problem, but only to answer a question (though most formal and useless way).
This is a rather funny one. Some people dedicate themselves not to answering questions but to answering questions on answering questions. So, they have no real picture of the things, but always have an opinion on them. They can answer any question in the world. The only problem with their answer - it is totally useless. By closing a question that states a problem it's impossible to solve a problem. It's like a child who closes his eyes and thinks that nobody sees him too.
In their imagination everything is all right and perfect: there are wise laws and dedicated community to solve every problem in one click. So, there is nothing to discuss - they always have an answer. Every question has been answered already. Who cares if the problem persists?
The only reply you can get here (if you read between the lines) is:
"This site is for asking questions and getting answers, and not for solving problems. So, get out of here and let us continue chatting on wonderful subjects like inappropriate comma in the tag description or a temporary fault in the reputation calculations."
Even the button name proves it: not "Start Discussion" but "Ask Question". So, Meta takes itself as a some sort of fast-food joint - "Get your grub and get out! This is not a place for discussions!". But I wish there was one.