Top Developer Tools To Shift Left

Looking at adopting the shift left method in your company but you’re not sure where to start? 

Here are some tools that can facilitate the transition to the shift left method and make it easier for you and your team. 

By the way, if you are interested in this particular topic, you might want to check out our Introduction to Shift Left and Best Practices.

Now let’s dive right in!


Security is one of the most important areas and most developed when it comes to shift left. More than automation, anticipating potential threats and vulnerabilities is easier when caught left of the development lifecycle. Here are a few picks that allow you to do so faster and more effectively: 


Snyk is a Static Application Security Testing (SAST), a methodology scanning your source code for vulnerabilities without having to compile or run the code. Following this methodology, Snyk provides a security check before your code is compiled. 

In case of any potential risk, a plugin will show up in your IDE while you’re still working on the code. Thanks to a native Git scanning, your source code is continuously monitored. 


Here we’re talking about a secret scanning tool. What are secrets? Connections between different softwares that work only if they stay “private”, nonetheless, secret leakage is one of the most common security vulnerabilities and is extremely costly. 

Spectral automates secret scanning without interrupting you while coding and doesn’t impact too heavily your CI/CD. This tool is able to scan continuously without putting your files at risk and is easily integrated into any language and stack. 

WhiteSource Bolt

Do you test all your external dependencies to your code, frameworks and libraries? These are often open source and are not necessarily maintained with the same security level as is your source code. 

That’s where WhiteSource Bolt comes in; they seamlessly integrate with Github and Azure applications which makes it easier for them to scan any dependencies from those sources. You’ll note that Bolt is an entirely free tool!


This tool will help you reach the Run-Time Application Self Protection level of your cybersecurity policy by always highlighting the left side of your development lifecycle. 

Sqreen is used to protect your microservices and APIs, it is highly specialized and will undoubtedly meet your expectations. This library is installed on your project to prevent attacks and detect false positives. 


Code quality is another important part of the shift left approach which consists in making sure your code is healthy before it is put to production when bugs are very costly to handle and resolve – when it is too late basically… 

Here are some tools that should prevent you from finding bugs in production: 


DeepSource is a useful tool to review your code and provide you with insightful metrics regarding the state of your code with a focus on its quality and performance. 

It also suggests thanks to its AutoFix feature, a solution to solve spotted issues. This tool can easily integrate with GitHub, GitLab or BitBucket and is free for an open source use 🤩


Embold focuses on the testing phase in your development cycle by helping you find vulnerabilities before they become critical. They deliver an insightful dashboard showing several metrics assessing the overall quality of your code, such as maintainability, robustness, security and reliability for instance. In addition to support the shift left method, this tool is effective to deal with your technical debt. 

You can use Embold both in cloud and on premise, if you are using the free version, features are limited. 


Codebeat tracks any change happening across your codebase and provides AI-powered code reviews in a single report in real time for more clarity. This way, you can easily identify the top priority issues to fix them. And if you like having everything in one place, their solution lets you manage your dev team directly in the platform and also integrates with all the tools you might already be using such as GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket and Slack. 

Good to know, Codebeat is free for open source repositories.

Code Climate 

Code Climate is a tool both to track your code coverage and automate your code review process. This solution will allow you to boost your dev team productivity by scanning your projects to identify rapidly bottlenecks so you can take the matter into your own hands. 

Thanks to their analysis, you know how robust and maintainable your code is and where you need to focus your efforts. 


This cloud-based solution allows you to catch bugs and vulnerabilities before putting your code into production, avoiding much time and resources spent on fixing them when it’s in fact, already too late… 

SonarCloud will block any pull request that isn’t safe or clean and send reports about these. The solution can catch any potential threats and you can set custom quality rules that will help you prevent any pipeline to success unless they meet those rules. 

What’s so good about this tool is that it is entirely free for open source projects and covers over 25 languages including Python, Java, C++ and more. 


We believe that the Shift Left method is the way forward to ensure a healthy software development lifecycle for your teams and organisations. By implementing simple principles like catching bugs early in the development process and protecting new code, you are already becoming an adept of this method. We wish to assist you in your shift left experience and make sure you are well equipped in terms of knowledge but also tooling. 

The new CircleCI extension enables you to shift validation left by accelerating your YAML file creation and getting more information about validation from your IDE. We are currently in the soft release phase so please go give it a try and give us some feedback.

Our unit test generation project Ponicode is still available, it allows you to reach two main goals of the shift left method: 

  • Testing your code early without taking more of your time 
  • Making sure you are not introducing potential bugs and vulnerabilities into your code 

There are several ways you can use Ponicode on your project. 

If you are a VS Code fan, you can immediately download our extension on the marketplace which will take only a couple of minutes to install, before using it right away! 

If you are working on Java, we have released an extension for IntelliJ which you can also download from the Jetbrains marketplace and start using after a short installation. 

Finally, if none of the above suits you, you can of course use our CLI directly in your terminal. 

Not convinced yet? Try the Ponicode capabilities on our playground so you can make up your own mind! 

Also on the hub

Ready to write beautiful code?

Smart and simple unit testing assistant. Now available for free.

Try it now

Solutions for JS, TS, Java and Python

Lines Footer
Flexing Unicorn by Ponicode