Heavily tattooed developer/consultant here,
My general response would be: no, it's not a big factor.
Having said that it's also got a lot to do with knowing your prospective employer. Being a consultant, I've worked in 10-15 different large enterprises over the last little while, and I've yet to receive any kind of consistent response in regards to my tattoos/appearance.
In some circumstances, folks said nothing and did nothing. In others it was a bit of a spectacle, folks would come by just to ask me about them and get a closer look.
On the other end of the spectrum, I've been pulled aside on day one and kindly asked to wear long sleeves from then on to avoid negatively impacting the company's image. I've also been not so kindly asked to do the same, something about being a legitimate business and not employing "bikers".
In most scenarios, except the last, I'm happy to oblige. Not every business or culture is comfortable with tattoos, so I'll do what I can to blend in to the organisation I'm working with. In the last instance, I requested to leave the account.
So from the hiring perspective, I imagine the landscape is the same. Check out the company you're applying to, see how they present themselves publicly. If it's a hip, trendy, tattoos and lattes type of place, then let your colours show and you'll probably be fine. If it's a more conservative image (i'm looking at you banking and insurance companies) wear a long sleeve shirt, but feel free to bring up your artwork during the interview.
Nice, thanks for the insight. Personally, I wouldn't want to work at a place where I'm required to cover them all the time, simply because I wouldn't feel comfortable.
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