I don't really have an answer to your question - but here are some
1. You might have some more luck asking the Linux Audio Developers
mailing list. Try searching through the archives - someone may have
asked this before.
2. Look through any ALSA driver documentation - and maybe also the
source code for existing drivers. I don't know what software you would
like to talk to your soundcard - but ALSA is definitely the currently
3. I have no idea what your experience of programming is. Books are
always good - try your local bookshops.