After you compiled the driver you should insert them in the kernel. You can do this using the modprobe command like this:
If you don't know the module name you can search the wireless modules in your kernel tree. Your kernel is in /usr/src/linux. In there there should be a folder wireless or net with the modules in it then use the command. I think you can only try one module at a time so if one doesn't work you can remove the module with:
modprobe -r modulename
With iwconfig you can check your wireless extensions after you inserted the module. Simply type:
You can leave the interface out of it but sometimes it doesn't get listed if you don't specify it so you want to try eth0 and wlan0 as interfaces if it doesn't list anything at first.
If your card is recognized you can set the essid.
iwconfig interface essid ****
If you don't have any special security you can now run a dhcpclient to get the rest of the settings.
If you do have extra security it's probably best turning it off and see if it works and then add extra layers, one per time so you can easily check if things work.
Hope this helps.