No, this is not a bitch session. I'm a serious professional developer of 30+ years experience, with paid developers working for me on commercial software. I find Stack Overflow to be the most amazing thing that has happened to the web in my professional experience (with the possible exception of Joel on Software!).
It is a wonderful thing to Google for something and find a precise, on target answer literally in seconds. Hats off to everyone involved.
At the same time, I am finding it much less useful when I try to ask questions, and I see the same in other serious questions in areas that interest me. The new question queue is dominated by newbie questions and people eager to build reputation, and the answers I see to serious and challenging questions are often glib and unhelpful, or even wrong.
I could try to write long questions explaining what I'm looking for, but from experience long questions are hard to read for busy people, and many of mine are really quite short. I just need them to be taken seriously by people with (say) 10+ years of expertise in the field (if there are any watching).
I have considered proposing solutions, such as - a question 'level': newbie, intermediate, advanced - a checkbox for disabling "don't do that" answers - an 'experience' level as well as a 'reputation' level - a 'wrong' answer flag as well as a 'right' answer flag - additional powers to the questioner to reject questions or at least downgrade them
Yes, I known about programmers.stackexchange but many questions I have simply don't fit there.
From one previous attempt I know that proposing anything that represents change and has ever been proposed before is a good way to suffer serious reputational damage, so I'm trying to avoid doing that. I've read the reasons why previous attempts to do things like this have been rejected, but they only make sense considered individually. I'm looking to solve a problem and inevitably it will overlap with things have been proposed and rejected in the past.
I think SO needs to change, but I'm not the person to say how. I leave it to all those 10K+ people out there to hear what I'm saying and hopefully to see ways to evolve toward a better SO for the 10+ year developers out here.
So finally, my question is: what single new feature, or very small set of features, would be most likely to improve the usefulness of SO to serious professional developers, allowing serious questions and answers to emerge out of the tide of newbies and homework?
In response to comments, here are two hard questions I asked.
Why does typedef struct produce a link failure eventually produce a very good consensus answer, that I was probably experiencing a compiler bug.
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/230001/how-to-write-a-compile-time-initialisation-of-a-4-byte-character-constant-that-i was the trigger for this question. I got two answers, both variants of "don't do that", which I absolutely hate. Eventually, after posting my own answer, I got a comment which was useful. I still think there are probably other ways to do this, but I'm not going to find them here.
I don't think I can ask questions much better than these, hence my question about whether SO might evolve to better handle hard questions.