I'm only just now regularly getting into the dev communities for networking & progression of my learning. That having been said, excuse my ignorance; what is the difference if any between the regular Wordpress developer community, the Wordpress Meta channel, & stack overflow for WP?
WPSE is for questions about WordPress development. If you have a question about WordPress Core, what a plugin is, how hooks work, or help constructing something, this is the stack. Just remember to keep questions specific, Stack Exchange sites aren't a discussion board, but more like a wiki of questions and community sourced answers for all people who had that question.
1st party plugins and themes are also on topic, e.g.
- the default themes twenty ten, twenty twelve, etc
- Hello Dolly
- WP Core feature plugins
- WP CLI
- WP Core unit test framework
- The REST API
To some extent, server stuff is also on topic, e.g. merging a site into a multisite, setting up Nginx rules to get permalinks working, just be mindful that devops questions are better suited to other stacks such as Serverfault
Note that this isn't for all things WordPress. For example, sometimes we get CSS frontend questions, e.g. which CSS rule rounds the corners of an image?, and people assume because the problem happened on a WordPress site, that it must be a WordPress question. This question is a pure CSS question and would be better on StackOverflow. The same is true of pure PHP questions.
The same is true of 3rd party plugin/theme or API support. Users should always go to the vendor and associated communities for support.
Keep in mind that Automattic doesn't release WordPress ( although they make generous contributions ), WP itself is a community project with assets held by non-profits. As a result Jetpack, WordPress.com, Akismet, WooCommerce are 3rd party plugins, as a result they are offtopic. The best place to go for that kind of support is always their support avenues.
If a plugin or theme support avenue ever sends you to a Stack Exchange site, they're breaking the T&C of Stack Exchange
WordPress Development Meta
Every stack has a meta site. It's considered toxic to the main stack to have questions about the stack itself mixed in. So they set up meta sites for those kinds of questions. If you have a question about a rule, how something works, why things are the way they are, how to improve the community, clarifications, etc, ask it on the meta site
StackOverflow has a meta site too! https://meta.stackoverflow.com/
This was the very first stack, and is a general programming stack:
Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about programming.
Sometimes you'll find WP questions on StackOverflow, and sometimes they get migrated here. SO is a big place though so that they're not always found. You also sometimes get questions that would be offtopic here, such as questions about plugins. Refer to StackOverflow meta for their stance on that topic
Some of this information can be search on and found in our Help Center.
Meta WordPress Development Stack Exchange is the part of the site where users discuss the workings and policies of WordPress Development Stack Exchange rather than discussing WordPress itself.
One thing to note is that StackOverflow, WordPress StackExchange, or Meta are not networking websites and completely different than normal web forums. The answer section of questions is meant to be a complete answer to the original question and not a comment like you would see on a forum thread. This is the main difference between StackExchange websites and say the WordPress Forums where you can only discuss a topic over multiple replies and threads.
To get a better understanding of what's expected in a question or expected in an answer is to first look at how some of the most well received questions and well received answers look like and how they ask or address a problem: